A talk with Jane Penny, TOPS’s vocalist, at her home back in Montreal
Vaal is Timo Bonneure, Arjen Verswijvelt and Jelle Wulleman. They sprouted from 9000, Ghent, from noise and post punk bands like Maze en Movoco, transferring the darkness of their precedent musical scene into an electronic sound that comes close to some sort of Flemish existentialism; the greyness of the suburbs, the desolate roads connecting the cities to the smaller ones and the villages of Belgium.
Vaal’s self-edited and filmed ‘Knopen’ is a stunner in its simplicity, both in sounds and image. It reminds me of the feeling when I first watched the opening scene of The Shining; an unsettling yet intriguing vibe that creeps into your bones as the instrumental music swells up in company of recognisable scenes of greyness and desolate randomness. The abundant trees and mountains of the film’s opening scene have been turned into Flemish architecture here — guitars, bass and synths into protagonists; they need nothing more to make Vaal’s music sound interesting and leaving us craving for more. On this years’s edition of Different Class, we’ll find out what that means.
Vaal play Different Class at 019 in Ghent on 26 August. The festival is free for members. Join here.