Masha Qrella / Photo by Katerina Voytko
Born to a Russian physicist and a German mother who worked as a somnologist, Masha Qrella’s childhood was naturally both laid-back and exciting. It was around the time when Jim O’Rourke started out in Chicago, when Stereolab were busy taking over London, while Mouse on Mars were re-inventing the sound of Düsseldorf that Masha and her trusted companions (among them bass player/engineer Norman Nitzsche) set out to create Berlin’s own version of post rock in a small basement somewhere in mellow Berlin-Pankow. The unique sound of Masha’s band projects, Mina and Contriva, was among the first signals coming from Villa Qrella, as the little studio space was dubbed eventually; and soon enough people started to pick und and fall in love with these signals – even in the UK, soon followed by other parts of the world such as the US and Japan. In 2002, Masha released her first solo album entitled “Luck” and thus stepped out as a singer/songwriter in her own right. After two more albums, among them “Speak Low”, a collection of beautifully rendered Kurt Weill and Frederick Loewe cover songs released in 2009, she’s about to drop a new album entitled “Analogies” – the latest high point in her career: “Analogies” is essentially her take on pop music, sitting perfectly between folk, indie rock, and all the huge radio anthems from decades past. Once again it is an album that was recorded in that tiny studio in Berlin-Pankow, but it’s clearly designed to blow minds all over the world.