The noise of fingertips on guitar strings. The sonorous feedback of a humbucking coil. The swinging reverb echo of a valve-driven amplifier. That is what makes the beginning of "Separate Chambers". And with the people and the instruments in-between the sounds. Curious, laid-back, light-footed in moments, in which contriva had said goodbye with a melancholy glance three years ago. "If you had stayed…" was not only according to its name their most melancholy record - "Separate Chambers" has become their most light-footed one. A swinging nonchalance, that invites to dance on a springy wooden ceiling in an old gym while the evening sun blinks through the windows.
At such a place contriva, Masha Qrella (Mina, NMFarner), Max Punktezahl (Jersey, the Notwist, Saroos), Rike Schuberty (Masha Qrella, Noel) and Hannes Lehmann (Mina), can be imagined. Four friends on their way from earlier to future days. Each of them a songwriter and an equal part of "seperate chambers". Four people and their instruments. And the space that connects them fills itself with the atmospheres and sounds. With small big songs, always closer to a pop-song than to instrumental concept music. At the end of the day everything is melody. Hymnal moments when violin and organ get elegiac. Then, again, the wide view to the horizon when two guitar figures interweave. The bass spreads the contours, precisely, unpretentious.
"before" begins with an acoustic guitar on the veranda and is soon carried to the club by a fuzzy bass. A late summer song with sparkling voices. "bluebootle" is absorbed in guitars. "number me" is a track of music being on the road, acoustic and electric instruments, close together and still breathing and open. "i can wait" finally is full of laconic intimacy, songwriter-soul lying in wait, an insistent final chord.
"Separate Chambers" was recorded at different places in and around Berlin. Mostly together with Norman Nitzsche (Mina, NMFarner), who also mixed and mastered the album. Occasionally with Andreas Haberl (Jersey) on the drums and with Tobias Hett playing the violin.