Photos by Randon Vannucchi
Lot 613 was the perfect host for the little post-festival season block party that is Diversion LA. The Arts District venue markets itself as a go-to spot for experienced ravers – people more interested in appreciating dope beats than molly and pasties. The Sunday afternoon crowd certainly fit that bill, a friendly and laid back mix of DTLA hipster types and Solo-cup-sipping bros. The event boasted an indoor and outdoor stage as well as numerous foodie trucks and a small lounge that catered to ambient DJs with tapestries and floor pillows.
Weval played a 4-5pm slot on the outdoor Imperial Street Stage. The crowd was a little sparse at the beginning of their set, but filled out as the Netherlands duo performed cuts from their excellent self-titled 2016 debut.
Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers both got their start in the film industry. When they met in 2010, they bonded over their love of electronic music and formed Weval shortly thereafter, releasing an acclaimed EP, Easier, in 2011 and premiering their live act at the Pitch Festival in 2013. Their debut full length came out earlier this year to high praise.
According to their bio, Coolen’s background is in house and jazz, while Albers draws primarily from trip-hop, but the most remarkable thing about Weval’s music is their uncanny ability to fuse beats that would feel at home on the deepest, tranciest stage at EDC with a perfect pop sensibility.
A little of the dark nuance that makes their style so alluring was lost in the brightness and bustle of the mid-afternoon street stage. To the side of the performance, friends chatted over quinoa bowls and cold pressed juices from the vegan truck and some of the more intricate textures of Weval’s production were hard to find in the thumping bass. However, the raw talent of the pair was unmistakable. A live set provided them the opportunity to play unhurried, expansive versions of their songs – a luxury that just isn’t possible within the limits of a 40 minute studio album.
Along with my fellow daytime EDM enthusiasts, I found myself swept up in Weval’s distinct and meticulous beats and their set ended all too soon. I look forward to someday seeing the pair in a more intimate nighttime setting, where their delicate style will surely shine all the brighter.
Peep tour dates here.