Mysterious, flowy electro combined with luring female vocals is the sound of Victim Victim, a Rotterdam based duo that started as an experiment about one year ago. Both Aafke Kloppenburg and Maurice Petitjean agree that it felt natural and you can feel that they complement each other. Music was not their first choice, they backed-up with creative studies which you can sense in the visual dimension they add to their music and treat their audiences with during live acts. To Aafke and Maurice making music is almost like presenting and inviting the audience to their own alien world and have a dance on the top of a mountain. If you have not heard about them yet, get on the trip. Cathedral Floods is the first, freshly released EP by Victim Victim:
Aafke and Maurice found some time to tell us how they see their music, craft their performances and wish for the future.
You have both made music before, but you haven’t appeared as VICTIM VICTIM for a very long time yet. How did you come across each other and decide to make music together?
Victim Victim: We bumped into each other in a bar in Rotterdam and it didn’t take long when we started dancing together. We also had mutual friends so it all went pretty organic. We knew that we both made music and were very into each others sound. After a while of being friends, we got the opportunity to work together as an experiment on a live show. So after spending one month in the studio together we performed and it was such a natural match that not only we, but also the audience really liked. That was pretty much the beginning of our collaboration.
What are your music influences?
Victim Victim: Do you have some time? Our music influences are pretty big, but to pick a few it would be the upcoming electronic music from the 90’s like 2 unlimited/ TLC and the modern contemporary electronic acts like iamamiwhoami/Kate boy/The Knife.
Do you feel unique being a duo from Rotterdam making dark-house?
M: The electronic music scene in Rotterdam is pretty big, but the most of the people in this scene are great producers and dj’s. The electronic live acts are (sadly enough) not as big as the dj/producer group, so in a way, you really stick out in Rotterdam when you’re an electronic duo with a live act.
A: Everyone is unique so yes I feel unique and even more when we are together as VV. We have fun as a duo and with us, other people that come to a show so the question of being unique is maybe not so relevant. Of course we hope to add something new to the already existing music landscape. But it’s too easy to place that into one certain genre. We might come up with a new genre name for our music next month. Our music is in a sense just ‘pop music’ but I believe that the term doesn’t have to mean that its shallow or one dimensional.
Do you carefully prepare each of your performances?
Victim Victim: Oh yes we do, we feel that its important to not only play the music but to think out the whole performance so the different aspects can evolve and lift each other up. Concerning the visual aspect when you see us, we love to wear our NADA on stage and in daily life. Its the clothing line from a dear friend of ours, Nada van Dalen. She takes aspects from the 90’s dutch gabber and hooligan scène and utilizes that into her clothing line. We are currently also working on a new lightning sculpture to go with us on stage. We want to make something impressive yet functional to take with us to the different venues. Everything to fortify the music.
Considering your artistic background and visual sense, when you make music, do you think of an image you would like to evoke in the listeners?
Victim Victim: Lots of smoke, and green lasers. Or just the image of being somewhere else for a moment. That can be in a nightclub with your eyes closed so you feel like you’re the only one on the dancefloor, or in an empty city with high towers covered in a snow. The visual aspect is just as important as our music. When you listen to our music it needs to trigger you and take you to a place somewhere else. It’s almost like presenting and inviting the audience to your own ”alien” world and have a dance on the purple/blue mountain up in the clouds (laugh).
Just recently you played with TR/ST on your own music scene, how did it feel?
Victim Victim: It was real fun, Robert is a nice guy and we love his music so we felt lucky to play before him and to hear that he really liked our music and live show. Normally we would get tickets to see TR/ST play because they inspire us a lot, so you can imagine we felt very blessed we got asked to be their support act. At the same time of being excited, we were very nervous that night.
If you could chose to play a gig at any place in the world, where would it be?
A: On top of a waterfall in Iceland. Or, maybe a bit less dramatic, Japan?
M: Does it need to be only on this planet?
Are you busy with something else than music?
Victim Victim: If you mean how we pay the bills: Maurice is an excellent chef and I work at a museum in Rotterdam but VV takes most of our time.
What is your favourite place in Rotterdam?
A : My car when I’m driving into town on the bridge at night. All the high buildings and light, always a warm feeling when I see that image.
M: Rotterdam has simply too many great places to constrict yourself to one.
After releasing the first EP – what is your next goal?
Victim Victim: Releasing the next one, making a really nice music video with photographer Boris Postma, play at festivals this summer (also outside the Netherlands). So much, so much we could go on forever…