Release Date: Jun 10, 2016
Record label: Kompakt
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
WEVAL are a young Amsterdam duo who feel as much like a product of the Kompakt music scene as an addition to it. After putting out the bright and lush debut EP Half Age on Amsterdam-based electronic label Atomnation in 2013, the duo were snatched up by the prominent German microhouse label to release their self-titled debut. Their 12-track LP shows WEVAL continuing their ambitious streak, crafting each track with its own personality, as the duo employ steely-cold sample-based tracks ("The Battle"), vocal-assisted funk tracks ("Square People") and chopped and screwed movers ("You Made It (Part 1)" and "You Made it (Part II)"), all anchored by WEVAL's knack for forward-moving rhythm.
Every once in awhile an electronic record comes along that is both so strong and so obviously appealing that it can’t help but end up in the hands of people who otherwise own no records from labels like Kompakt, Hyperdub or !K7. Think of The Knife’s Silent Shout in 2006, or Burial’s Untrue and Justice’s † in 2007. Beyond luck and timing, these kinds of releases are successful because they are not only masters of their genre and bring its best attributes to light, but also because they manage to be a lot of different things to different people.
It’s already past me. A slipping pop, snappy synth following, a glint of an idea hidden in offbeats. WEVAL is a groovy body with no hard shapes, techno-edged funk cut to gourmet size by a fidgety editor. An impatient body, clutching at a chorus that never fully comes. WEVAL is synth pop aiming ….
Over three years and three EPs, Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte have honed a specific mood, albeit one that's difficult to pin down. As Weval, the Amsterdam duo evoke a kind of resigned melancholia, which isn't to say their music is depressing. Their songs summon optimism and heartache in equal measure, giving them a depth that's central to their appeal.