Rasmus Weirup — I Bet You Never Had a Friday Night Like This

Danish musician Rasmus Weirup has come up with his debut album I Bet You Never Had a Friday Night Like This, a record that mixes the ambiguous sound of Grouper and is in a tricky way influenced by the vaporwave or even phonk/memphis rap aesthetics (it's already present in Weirup’s self-description where the musician says that he imagines his music as being “broadcasted through the echoing sound system of an abandoned shopping mall”). Merging warm drone and free-folkish atmosphere with kitschy vaporwave stylistic elements is a risky task: there is always the danger of the latter overshadowing and presenting the former and the whole worldview upon which they are built as yet another cliché.

With one subtle move Weirup succeeds in avoiding such a result. Perhaps, the only thing that makes one think of the vaporwave aesthetics (and of the genres that it recycles) is Weirup’s autotuned vocals. The angelic voices of Grouper and Lycia are replaced with “plastic” ones that are more common in contemporary R’n’B or deconstructed club. Once you hear the vocals you grasp the deeper meaning of the album’s title that refers to the (post)club “agenda” and ironically deconstructs it (at this point, I can’t help but remember Black Eyed Peas and their 2009’s I got a feeling / That tonight's gonna be a good night).

At times, an almost cartoonish voice sings beautiful and enigmatic verses but such a collision doesn’t sound contradictory. The inclusion of autotune is not about corruption of the “authentic” feeling – it is more of an acknowledgment that some omnipresent yet almost invisible things (brand names, memes) that form the very fabric of our everyday reality (they are only caught in general “vibe” of the record, they are nowhere to be found in texts) are as esoteric and eerie as any sort of meditation/drug-induced transcendental experience that other aethereal drone music is trying to convey; one should only learn to tune to them, making the effect tangible. If you contemplate the metal of a white Mercedes long enough who knows what you will see there – that one Mercedes that appears in the last track (Colonial Inn) along with a poetical red roses, hydrangeas and pine trees, the one that makes you think of Charlie XCX’s eponymous song.


Rasmus Weirup