Over 23 years and a sprawling discography left in their wake, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have spent their entire career as ADULT. obscuring any defined genre or style.
Their early self-released albums on Ersatz Audio are a delight to listen to, with a delicious mix of 70s analogue dystopian post-modernism, 80s electro and 90s tech. Never painting themselves into a corner or settling for just one definition is the very essense of the ADULT. juxtaposition.
Discomfort and joy intertwined.
They played their first lives show together in Germany in 1997 under the name Artificial Material. In early 1998 they released their first 12″ under the moniker Plasma Co. Later that same year, they released their first 12″ under the name ADULT.
They have remixed over 20 acts, including Tuxedomoon, John Foxx, Death In Vegas and Pet Shop Boys (for Moog Music). Their 2017 album “Detroit House Guests” (Mute Records) featured six guest collaborators: Dorit Chrysler (NY Theremin Society), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens), Michael Gira (Swans), Lun•na Menoh (Les Sewing Sisters) and Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb).
Are we distortions, twisted somewhere in time?
Kuperus and Miller also make sculpture, paintings, films, photographs, performances, videos and installations. They strive to intersect the lines between art and audio. They have exhibited their work at institutions such as the Austrian Cultural Forum (NY), Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh), Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), MOMAS (Saitama, Japan), and Centre d’art contemporain de Meymac (FR). They have shown their film The Three Grace(s) triptych at places such as Anthology Film Archives (NY), Distrital Film Festival (Mexico City), and Grey Area for Art and Technology (SF).
In their own words:
“It’s confounding how often we negate the importance of disconnecting, getting weird, getting lost. Discomfort and joy intertwined. Day to day, theatrical self-presentation set to rest in our frantic social world. Public becomes private, almost too private. Looking out into frozen woods as you deliver your vocals. For who? For what?”
“Taking walks along icy shorelines as you try to overcome writer’s block, as you try to overcome yourself. Not seeing anyone for days and weeks on end. Overwhelming thoughts and feelings come rushing in; anxiety, fear, purpose, banality, futility of task, power structures, power struggles, pointlessness, collapse. You’re faced to face yourself. Your awareness is heightened. You are neither here nor there. You are in a liminal state. As you work in this isolated cabin your windows become mirrors.”
“Are we distortions. Are we distortions, perversions of humankind.
Are we distortions. Are we distortions, twisted somewhere in time.”
New Album due 10th April 2020…
In 2020 ADULT. will make a triumphant return with “Perception is/as/of Deception” on Dais Records, which is due for release on April 10th. See below for Bandcamp pre-order.
An anxiety fueled cyclone of pandemonium that only ADULT. would know how to harness.
While 2018’s “This Behavior” was recorded in the isolated snow-covered woods of northern Michigan, the new album “Perception is/as/of Deception” was given life in a temporary space the duo created by painting their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention to deprive their senses, question their perceptions, and witness the resulting ramifications.
…with a history as uncanny as ADULT., the pieces that making up their latest release “Perception is/as/of Deception” might be perceived as their most punk-infused and introspective work to date. The elements of frustration and apprehension that have consistently woven throughout their material are at full mast, augmented by a strident and more “head-on” approach.
Tracks like “Have I Started at the End” successfully maintain the duo’s classic EBM signatures and synthesized aggression, cradled by a suspicious mantra that questions….what’s the point?
“Why Always Why” offers a disorienting mutation of the heralded sounds of classic dance music, like a remix that escaped prison and is on the run.
The dystopian anthem, “Total Total Damage” comes in full force with an frantic energy which jolts any bystanders to attention, with only the defiant chants of Kuperus’ vocals outlining the ever-degenerating state of societal affairs. The dramatically glam synth parts scattered throughout the album, while at times ominous in nature, seem to also act as a merciful reminder that through the journey of “Perception is/as/of Deception”, one can still enjoy the chaos.
With the rampant sense of emptiness on the minds of many these days, there continues to be few attempts at scoring these common, unfortunate human qualities with pure sincerity. Thankfully, ADULT. has a long-standing reputation for creating the soundtrack for our insecurities, and Perception is/as/of Deception further solidifies their apprehensive position.