Few realms in contemporary music have the ability to conjure as broad a spectrum of themes and ideas as electronic experimental. A new self-titled cassette from PPG, out now on Primitive Languages, is perfect proof of this, incorporating wondrous and unsettling elements into a production as prodigious as the origins of life itself. The project, featuring members of Further Reductions and 51717, creates soundscapes that are simultaneously monstrous in scope and minimalistic in composition. Side A is series of layered tones and fluctuating moods; drone and sudden feedback set a base scene, a black slate from which curious twinkling sounds quiver like microorganisms set into motion. A far off voice probes in the distance, only the tail end of its reverberations reaching us, and its presence is goddamn eerie.
The electronics shift and stutter almost glacially, the formation of a planet’s masses in preparation to sustain a new existence. Distant percussive thuds enter and give it a pulse, sporadic and faint at first, their structure solidifying and intensifying as the side of the tape progresses. Cymbals and ticks call to mind the twitch of a being figuring out how to move itself. The whole thing is a randomized creation story, a self-emboldening expansion of shrill and bubbling vibrations always taking its next sloth-like step just as it’s about to feel comfortable. You’re never at rest, never at ease. And it’s only more noticeable on the frenetic beehive that is Side B.