Weval – in concert at Lowlands Festival 2019 – recorded August 27, 2019 – VPRO – 3voor12 – Netherlands –
A dose of Techno with a side-trip through space and dreamscape tonight. Weval is a collaboration between two pals from the Netherlands – Harm Coolen (1986) and Merijn Scholte Albers (1989). Both Harm and Merijn have roots in the film industry, which is also where they met in 2010. When they found out they were sharing the same love and ambition for creating electronic music they decided to team up as a production duo. Merijns background is more triphop and rock orientated, Harm is influenced by jazz and house music. Because of their different backgrounds they blend the best of these genres together in their combined work.
When Kompakt came across Amsterdam-based Harm Coolen and Merijn Schotte Albers aka WEVAL back in 2014, they were blown away when they heard their slow-burning, darkly emotive tracks. Their debut EP “Half Age” on Atomnation featured painfully intimate and surprisingly kinetic electronic chamber pop that convinced them they were a perfect fit in Kompakt’s family. Following two widely acclaimed EPs for Kompakt and playing numerous festivals including DGTL, Reeperbahn, Iceland Airwaves and Piknic Electronik, you now see the two tackle their self-titled debut full-length WEVAL. What you have before you is not a mere collection of tracks, but a complete listening experience with organic flow, emotional heft and a narrative thread.
Smitten with WEVAL’s uniquely personal and catchy approach to producing dark electronic music, it didn’t take much to win them over… and so came WEVAL’s acclaimed 2014 label debut EASIER EP (KOMPAKT 318), followed by the bold and beautiful 2015 offering IT’LL BE JUST FINE / GROW UP (KOMPAKT 344) which saw the two soundsmiths digging deeper into the granularities of electronic funk than ever before. However, Harm and Merijn’s music – while astonishingly fully-formed even in its earliest stages – always seemed destined for more, a bigger format, more space to explore the nooks and crannies of their rapidly evolving sound cosmos. Simply put, they needed to think about an album and their beloved living room studio wasn’t cutting it anymore.
Weval draw their inspirations from no single genre of music but a cumulation of music that inspires them. The results present an astonishingly coherent vision – cuts like the dramatic THE BATTLE, bass growler I DON’T NEED IT or the trippy epic MADNESS share the same DNA of zestful nostalgia, a knack for immersive sound-sculpting and that certain kink in the groove. They also feed on deeply personal experiences and moods, as exemplified by the haunting electronic ballad YOU’RE MINE, the carefully layered, polaroid-tinted JUST IN CASE or the beautifully voiced closer YEARS TO BUILD. And sometimes, it’s just an old, out-of-tune piano that stands in the hallway: “Whenever I’d pass by it, I couldn’t resist playing it”, says Merijn, “so Harm decided to start recording and it became an integral part of YOU MADE IT (PART I)”. No doubt about it: this is WEVAL’s most powerful and organic material yet – which means a lot, considering the amount of skill already on display in their small, but weighty portfolio.
Hit the play button and settle in.