WAAN represents the musical marriage of seasoned saxophonist Bart Wirtz and keyboard wiz Emiel van Rijthoven. As a pair of self-confessed tech nerds hailing from The Netherlands, their bromance was a slow burning one, but nevertheless their eventual collaboration fulfilled a dream that they’d both held close since first working together back in 2010.
Lost, the third and final single to be taken from the duo’s debut album Echo Echo, is a fitting description of how they felt when writing it! Emiel in particular was struggling with a myriad of issues at the time – from their identity and how they worked as a live band to personal relationships and technical studio problems. All of these factors influenced the sound of this piece, with its low slung groove, mournful bass and piano parts which were played with mostly black keys, giving it an intense classical sound that forms the basis of the bridge. The pair worked for a long time on this track and it had many incarnations, but it was only when Bart added the harmoniser (a saxophone that you can create your own chords with) that the vision for the track became clear. Bart and Emiel found their way out of the darkness and Lost became one of the most positive songs on the album with its uplifting sax parts and frenetic and joyous drums. An important document of how a partnership can see you through even the most disorientating of times.
With influences as disparate as Floating Points, BadBadNotGood and Eddie Harris, Echo Echo is far more complex than just being a dance music influenced jazz record. Co-producer Oscar de Jong, of Kraak & Smaak fame, encouraged the pair to play freely as part of a jazz group and then add the electronic elements. As
a result the album owes as much to Duke Ellington and Lalo Schiffrin as it does NERD and The Eurythmics!