Review Summary: Electronic pondering.
Weval have been making music for a decade. Throughout this decade, Merijn Scholten Albers and Harm Coolen consistently crafted beautifully produced tunes, always rhythmically interesting, heavily leaning on analogue instruments, often melancholic, and with a healthy dose of psychedelia.
To me, their music has a pensive quality to it, as if overthinking the past, looking back at years gone by through a kaleidoscope. This contemplative and dreamy mood is partially caused by the aforementioned psychedelic melancholy and the analogue synths, recalling music from foregone times. Yet there are less abstract parallels here too. Weval are always seeking to create music that means something to themselves personally. A striking example would be the cover art of their 2021 EP Changed For The Better
, which features the old car which Merijn’s parents used to own when he was little. Merijn explains they felt the need to go back to “the pure innocence of the emotions and feelings evoked as a child listening to a cassette in the back of a car while on holiday with your parents”. Weval often strive to create this mood, and the aptly titled Remember
is no different. Its eleven tracks pursue it to great effect.
Next to this personally tinged, emotional foundation, one of the main reasons why Weval’s music is so moreish is the dual background of the duo. On the one hand, Merijn is a Trip Hop fanatic, which clearly shows in their mellow, psychedelic tone, the funky, shuffling beats, and the wistful nostalgia. On the other hand, Harm breathes house, which can be heard aplenty in the 4/4 backbone of the beat, the syncopated claps, and the occasional heavy bass synth. It is Weval’s trademarked tasteful execution of this blend of styles, always with an ear for detail and for emotional undertones, that makes them so beloved. And it is all here on Remember
, providing a perfect overview of what this last decade has been all about. Here’s to the next ten years.