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Kompakt Duo Weval and the Ten Records That Changed Their Lives

From Prince, to Caribou, to a "pretty boring" track from the X-Men 3 trailer.
October 2, 2015, 10:56am

Dutch duo Weval — comprised of the wonderfully named Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers — are back on Cologne powerhouse Kompakt with a brand new 12". The It'll Be Just Fine/Grow Up single is a dreamy serving of underwater dub meets tricksy tech-house that slinks and shrugs like the best of the Komapkt bunch. The producers think of themselves, nominally at least, as experimental house artists, blending dancefloor sensibilities with a filmic approach to sound. Influenced by ambient and krautrock as much as they are traditional club culture staples, the pair make music that works just as well in the bedroom as it does on the dancefloor. Ahead of their show with Trentmoller at Oval Space tomorrow, we asked Weval to take us through ten records that made them the artists they are today.

Teargas and Plateglass - Plague Burial

Merijn:

I spent ages searching for this after hearing it in the trailer for

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X-Men 3

. It's pretty boring really. I'm not sure why I was so enamoured with it. Anyway, I was determined to get a copy so after eventually tracking down the artist and title, I tried to order the CD — ah, the good old days! — but it was only available in the US. Eventually I got in touch with the artist and he sent it over to me for free. Which was nice.

Bill Withers – Who Is He (And What Is He To You)

Harm: A perfect combination: Bill's wonderful voice entwined with the coolest groove ever made. Just when you're getting used to how self-contained and minimal it is, Bill throws a tambourine in the mix. Which then seems like the most obvious thing ever. Those are the choices we find hard to make when we're mixing a new track. Bill had balls!

St. Germain - Rose Rouge

Harm: I played the Tourist album so many times. When I was seventeen I tried to find more of these electronic jazz thingies, but that plan failed. That combination — electronics and jazzy quirks — can quickly become too slick. The album as a whole didn't stand the time, but I still think "Rose Rouge" is amazing. Mainly because of amazing use of a Dave Brubeck sample.

TRS-80 - Naturescent

Merijn:

I discovered this band down in the depths of the internet when I was sixteen. I just dived into the world of triphop and this was a little more electronic than what I was used to. I was an instant fan, most of all because of their bass and drum sound, and spent days and days searching out the rest of their music.

Prince - Bob George

Harm: I found this record (The Black Album) in the attic of the venue where I began spinning records. A little sticker in the corner of the cover told me that it was a very rare record and that it had been scrapped by Prince during the recording process. Two years ago I rediscovered the track and showed it to Merijn. The pattern of the synth in combination with the snare is very danceable. The snare is super funky. We often start DJ sets with this one. Sadly it's not on YouTube!

Caribou - Irene

Harm: I think "Irene" is one of the best Caribou songs, especially because of the special way it's produced. Get it on in your headphones and it's super trippy. Everything's constantly moving. The chords zip from left to right, endlessly. Then a vaccum cleans everything up at the end — priceless. Not one single component is clearly placed in the middle of the composition. Dan Snaith continued to do that with Swim. I heard it was so severe that they couldn't press it up on vinyl because the needle would fall off.

Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)

Merijn: When I was nineteen I hated all music without snares. Everything with a four to the floor kick sounded too easy and ugly to me. I lived in Amsterdam and friends took me to Studio 80. I was bored to death with listening to minimal and techno. This is not for me, I thought, until I discovered this track. I remember that I put it on in the supermarket when I was standing in front of the peanut butter. That constant buildup, the weird placement of the melody that doesn't sync with the beat when you hear it for the first time — it floors me. It is still one of the best club tracks I know and it put me in touch with a whole new musical world.

Radiohead - House of Cards

Merijn and Harm:

"Everything In It's Right Place" should be here, really, because of the synthesizer sound. But

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In Rainbows

was the album that introduced us to Radiohead. This heavy track is one of the highlights of the album that's very interesting to us production wise. It shows how you can handle space and more importantly how much echo you can put in a song without fucking it up!

Can - Vitamin C

Harm and Merijn:

The energetic drums of this German krautrock band are masterful. We still don't understand how they recorded and edited these drums! It feels extremely dynamic. The left channel seems to have another EQ than the right. It is a big mystery, which we hope to figure out someday. Someday.

Air - Run

Merijn: When I discovered this record I went to the living room and tested out the new build speakers my dad had put together. My mother didn't mind the volume because of the synth-choir in the chorus. Which she must have liked. Harm and I both listen tot his track a lot. From time to time we dare to play it at the end of a DJ set.

Weval's new single is out now on Kompakt. Check it out here.

The lads play London's Oval Space tomorrow night. Head here for more information on that.

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