Exclusive: Sitting down with the amazing duo Weval
Amsterdam based duo Harm Coolen and Merijn Schotte Albers comprise of Weval, and the two are gearing up for a massive self-titled debut LP release with the legendary record label Kompakt. With previous EP’s,Easier and It’ll Be Fine / Grow Up, released through the same label, they are well prepared to drop their twelve track album any day now. We chatted with the two stellar artists to learn more about their music, their past in the film industry, and about Kompakt!
Hi guys (Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers)! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. In the press release, there is mention about finding ‘beauty in imperfection’ and how you were looking for that imperfection and humanity in electronic music. Working as a duo, how would you say you were able to accomplish this goal?
A lot of electronic music these days is so slick. We got tired of that. Making it less perfect is not that easy because in the studio you tend to work till it’s polished and nothing bothers anymore. So it’s about a controlled imperfection and sometimes we have to say to ourselves OK this is it. Besides that we played a lot with distortion and other tools that make it a live and organic, instead of a gentle track that you can play safely in the background.
Your music, from the start, has always felt so perfectly at home at Kompakt, but what personally drew you to the label?
We knew a lot of artists such as The Field, Gui Boratto, Closer Music and Superpitcher, so we were super honoured to work with Kompakt. What we also like is that Kompakt is super broad, it goes from experimental / ambient to pop and more dance floor oriented stuff.
We also heard that you come from a film industry background, Are there any films that you find imperfect, but also beautiful in its imperfection? Could there ever be a meshing of your two expertise and if yes, what would you imagine that to be like?
Film is a different creative universe, imperfection in story for example, can distract. With music we like to hear the artist / human behind it. With film you mainly want to forget the maker and loose yourself into the narrative. But maybe there is a comparison possible in image and sound. The new digital shot movies look super slick. We hate this perfection and think the old 35 mm film format looks so much better, it’s way more picturesquely and raw. Regarding sound I guess that rawness is what we’ve been looking for in this album. We definitely hope that the two worlds come together one time. This could be either making a film or videoclip with our own music, or otherwise scoring a film is also a thing that we would to give a try one time.
And just for fun, since you’ve gained experience in both music and film, are there any soundtracks that inspire your music?
Definitely! The soundtrack from Fight Club was a great inspiration. And the soundtrack from Heat, for example the track Force Marker from Brian Eno. This kind of music made electronic music for us ‘normal’, something that’s already there when growing up. A more recent soundtrack we really liked was the one Social Network made by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
You guys have been releasing music for a couple of solid years now, and you’re releasing your work on arguably one of the most exciting underground record labels out there. You’ve had a lot of successes, but what would you say are the biggest misconceptions electronic artists face today?
Thank you! About misconceptions, we have actually no idea. Are there? : )
On a technical level, were there any major difficulties you faced making your record? Do you have personal favorites on the release?
It’s often a huge struggle to finish a track and a mix down. It’s this big intense battle, but a nice one. We were used to finish a project of 4 tracks for example, and then change lot’s of things in the very last days before the deadline. This is something you can’t do in case of 12 tracks so that was a challenge, besides coming up with ideas that stick (at least for us). Our personal favourites are I Don’t Need It, You’re Mine and Square People. But this is a fluent process it changes from time to time.
Finally, the album is out June 10th? Can we expect any tour dates from you/What can we expect for the rest of 2016?
Yes, we are going to tour quite a lot. Besides Europe there are plans to visit the US and Australia. And we’re keep visiting the studio as much as possible, so it’s an ongoing story ; )
Thanks Weval! Pre-order their self-titled debut album via Kompakt’s Homepage.