Some bands resist your attempt to categorize them. I'm not talking about bands that conspicuously sculpt their image so to be inherently esoteric--because even then, that conscious acknowledgement of the potency of ones image to amass mystique is a contrivance from the outset. ADULT. continue to swing wrecking balls into the mortar walls of my preconceptions about art. The artists comprising ADULT., Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, have always challenged me to consider the way I approach the telling of a music story.
These filmmakers, painters, photographers, also happen to be the arrangers/producers/performers of a music that most of the globe would gauge as Techno. And it is, for the most part... But they bring a sensibility to their production of music (and their presentation of that music) that shifts your consideration for how you should be encountering it-- should it be with the wariness one brings to an art gallery, the openness one brings to an elaborate installation, the sober thoughtfulness one brings to a photography show, the immersive mindfulness you'd achieve during a film....? Or maybe the alertness you'd need to navigate a mosh pit or some other kind of post-apocalyptic rave....?
You need all your wits, when it comes to ADULT. Because you can't be sure what ADULT. is... You can be certain that it will be a kind of electronic-musical-experience. You can be certain of that.
But with Detroit House Guests, an album produced over the last two years with an endowment from the Knights Art Foundation, Kuperus and Miller have made an "ADULT. record" in name, only. Distinct from past ventures, like The Way Things Fall or Anxiety Always, this album isn't another collection of their typical envelope-pushing ambient/techno storms, but rather a series of conversations. The album features collaborations with a whole host of musicians and artists – Douglas J McCarthy from Nitzer Ebb, Michael Gira from Swans, Shannon Funchess from Light Asylum, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe aka Lichens, Austrian thereminist Dorit Chrysler and multidisciplinary artist Lun*na Menoh.
The motivation was to mimic the model of visual artist residencies, by welcoming each musician from disparate genres and unique approaches to enter and inhabit their home/studio space for a three-week period, where they would not only work together, but also live together.
The result, via MUTE, is a total anthropological sound experiment and a full length album.
Detroit House Guests is streaming on Spotify, right now. And, if you couldn't gather this from my rambled paragraphs above^, it is, I assure you, one of the most emotionally panoramic, aesthetically kaleidoscopic montages of mood, musings and meditations I've heard in a decade, if not more... I do't know what to call it - and that's exactly the point!
ADULT. is heading to Nashville to perform for Third Man Records' ongoing live album series.
They'll be joined by Serration Pulse, a Nashville-based duo of Detroit natives (Daniel Tomczak and Kayla Anderson), who create chilly/dreamy/dark-wave ambient arrangements of "snarling, frostbitten electroclash," all the while inspired by the legacy of Detroit Techno.
ADULT. will be back in May, to perform for the annual MOVEMENT Festival. Stay tuned for an upcoming interview between myself and ADULT. in the Detroit Free Press.