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Photography:
Marcelo Gomes
Interview:
Nico Jacobsen
  • N:
    So let's start from the beginning, how did you two meet?
  • K:
    Have a hard time remembering exactly, but probably through the L.I.E.S. crew, Ron Morelli and gang, probably at a party in Brooklyn somewhere.
  • N:
    Did you have any apprehensions about working together musically? Did it come about naturally?
  • K:
    We joked about starting a "band". Like a rock band, almost. Even though we don't play with any elements of that music. There was a specific set of shows Alex wanted to play with us while he was out here, so we decided to debut our project, whatever it would be, that way. 
  • L:
    Our friend Alex was in town from Chicago.
  • K:
    So we were like let's start a band for this cool show with our friend Alex.
  • N:
    Do you feel like either of you have a specific role in the duo?
  • K:
    I guess in what we've done so far there has sort of been roles, but I hope it continues to evolve as we work.
  • L:
    It has always been a practical function of what gear we each are using when we play.
  • N:
    But it's always shifting?
  • K:
    Ya exactly, at least we like it to be.
  • L:
    Basically I'm the brunette and she's the blonde. 
  • K:
    Except I'm not even blonde right now but I might as well be. 
  • N:
    To me the Primitive Languages tape sounded very Baroque, like the more whimsical Coil records mixed with the triumphant horns of a band like Die Form. Are there specific influences that informed this tape or was it more from your collected conscious?
  • L:
    That tape was a complete jam, basically our first ever rehearsal. So I guess that tape came out of years of friendship, inside jokes, dressing up, etc. I think the mix we did for The Brutalist (Soundcloud mix series) is the best indicator of what subconsciously influenced the sound.

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Rose E. Kross (Katie O’ Sullivan) and 51717 (Lili Schulder) easily give off the impression their whole lives are shrouded in a shadowy haze, but I assure you, they are actually quite easy to find. Both women are well-known pillars of New York’s more fringe music scene, and if you begin falling into the matrix of Industrial, Techno, Noise, or Ambient music, it won’t be long until you find yourself being haunted by one of these two via a stage or DJ booth.
On top of Rose’s vibrant and noisy DJ Sets and synapse splitting live sets, she also performs alongside her husband Shawn as the genre-defying group Further Reductions. They have since toured the world on the back of their beloved album Woodwork, which came out on the legendary Minimal Wave sub-label Cititrax. 51717 primarily performs live, often time in a standing cage of her own creation, flanked on all sides by Mics and various other synths and drum machines. She too has delivered much sought after records on Opal Tapes and Silent Servant's label Jealous God.
After years of friendship and collaboration, these two decided to take their musical relationship to the next level, which resulted in the creation of the twisted Brooklyn based supergroup, PPG. They now have a handful of sweltering performances under their belt, as well as the release of their first cassette via friends and fellow artists Nick Klein and Enrique's infamous imprint Primitive Languages. There is no doubt the music sounds beautiful drifting out of home speakers or headphones, but if you ever get the chance, seeing these two perform on stage is not something you will easily forget. 
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  • K:
    I think it was a purely psychic driven tape, just intuitive, we didn't really have to discuss too much, we would just see what sounds good and roll with it. I like sort of entering these psychic spaces, where we don't exactly know what will happen, some sort of tense and unknown world. That's what I'm particularly interested in exploring with this project. It has a feminine quality, I guess. We don't want to bang them over the head with our performance, we want to let people enter it. 
  • N:
    The tape did feel very feminine to me, I think that's why Baroque was the first word that popped into my head, I was imagining the notes coming out of elongated necks and spindly fingers playing the harp or something.
  • K:
    But it's also like we're scrappy, and playful and joksters.
  • L:
    Well, we're Geminis. It's just the way it is.
  • K:
    But I think at the same time we draw inspiration from elegance. Understated elegance.
  • N:
    I think you just sold a couple Yohji Yamamoto coats…
  • K:
    You know I'm just so split down the middle.
  • L:
    On the one hand we like completely outrageous things, glam rock, everything off the rails and on the other hand we like sheer nothingness.
  • K:
    Meditations on nothingness.
  • N:
    The split comes across in the music definitely. One second it sounds very meditative and spiritual, and then it becomes like Dante's Inferno, plunging the listener into some dank cavern. Is there any ideologies at play within in the band that would have resulted in you producing something that felt like that?
  • K:
    It's not so much ideological as it is conceptual.
  • L:
    It has a lot to do with internet warfare.
  • K:
    Like the uniforms of that kind of warfare.
  • L:
    Extreme states of affairs.
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  • N:
    You have both created this strong visual element around yourselves and PPG, is that what you want people to visualize when they listen to the music, like some sort of feminine military complex?
  • L:
    Something like a structure inside the mind. 
  • N:
    The name PPG evokes that somehow, it reminds me of the name of some online weapons system, combined with the pink digital maze on the Primitive Languages tape cover it all make sense. Your incredible live shows are what you've made your name on, and I was wondering, how much of them are planned and how much are improvised? 
  • K:
    The preparation is not intensive, because we're not those type of people.
  • L:
    Our live sets are almost totally improvised. We'll meet briefly to sketch things out, but we both have such a strong connection, and the confidence to get on stage, it's exciting.
  • N:
    This question is a bit out of nowhere, but I watched this documentary called Otaku, which is basically about the type of people that love their idols so much it becomes all encompassing. So I was wondering, do you have any interest in becoming idols? Representing something so powerful that people become almost fanatical?
  • K:
    I'm scared of fanaticism, but I am a total fangirl. I definitely have idols that have totally shaped me and shaken me up, totally changed my viewpoint, and inspired me, so it would be super cool to be that person for someone else but that's not the trajectory I'm planning.
  • L:
    I have an interest mainly in continuing to cultivate my work. 
  • N:
    But are you comfortable with the idea of people idolizing you?
  • L:
    For me personally I don't mind.
  • K:
    I don't think I've made the thing that would get me that status. Right now, I'm just trying to make stuff and am totally fine with existing in obscurity. 
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