Tag: ADULT. (Page 1 of 3)

A Short Conversation with ADULT.

With nine acclaimed long players to their name, ADULT. issued their most recent album ‘Becoming Undone’ as a doomy discordant statement capturing “something that’s falling apart”.

In a 23 year career, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus first came to wider attention with ‘Hand To Phone’ in 2001. Presenting a stark response to their surroundings, the dystopian demeanour of ADULT. remains as vital as ever as their living art project continues to evolve.

Although 2013’s ‘The Way Things Fall’ possessed an unexpected accessibility and 2017’s ‘Detroit House Guests’ saw the Detroit synth-punk duo open their doors to outside collaborators, this new body of work is more personal, embroiled in pain and bereavement while created in isolation during a state of flux with a healthy acceptance of destruction.

ADULT. kindly took time out from a hectic and intense European live tour to have a quick chat with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about ‘Becoming Undone’ and the development of their dark dance aesthetic…

Thematically and conceptually, how does ‘Becoming Undone’ differ from previous ADULT. albums?

In working on a new album, we always try to approach the process differently. For instance, the last album ‘Perception IS/AS/OF Deception’ was written in a black void with minimal equipment at hand for the demos. ‘This Behavior’ was written in a remote cabin in the woods. ‘Why Bother?’ was more soundtrack oriented and based on serial killers and cult leaders.

In our latest album ‘Becoming Undone’, it was literally written out of pure necessity to try to emerge out of the liminal state we were put in through the pandemic. We did not control the concept on this record – the world did. So there is a lot more dissonance and looping motifs in this record, rhythm is stronger than melody as there was no harmony in the world as we wrote it. This album was a mirror to the world land life in general.

‘Becoming Undone’ has been described as capturing “something that’s falling apart”?

Well, we wrote the album during the pandemic when everything was falling apart. Massive amount of people were dying of the virus and Nicola‘s father passed away (not from Covid, but during the pandemic). We had lost all of our tours and all of our income. Then as we were trying once again to get into the writing process, the ex-loser President of the United States decided to try to do his big lie and steal the election, followed by the insurrection on the US Capitol – sooooo everything really was falling apart and we felt to album should mirror that.

As well as synths, ‘Becoming Undone’ sees vocal loop pedals added to the tech armoury, what attracted you to using these?

One of the main things we like about analog equipment (which is 97% of our studio) is the different interfaces they have and the different abilities to move between control and arbitrary experimentation. We both find vocal loop pedals very non-intuitive (as opposed to something from Roland, which we understand easily the way the gear works). So for us, the looper gave us a chance to not be in control, to come up with some layers or parts to songs that we normally would not come up with. It added randomness to the songs.

The music has ramped up percussively and ‘Our Bodies Weren’t Wrong’ comes with a fitting EBM backdrop, had there been any inspiration from having worked previously with Douglas J McCarthy of NITZER EBB?

NITZER EBB has always been a major influence for the both of us. It was one of the few bands when we met years ago that we really had in common. The music on the new album ‘Becoming Undone’ has become more and more percussive because we included electronic pads, not only to the writing process, but to the live set as well. This came out of many different reasons, but one was that we figured after the pandemic, people were going to be ready to rage and as London, Brussels, Berlin and other cities have proven – that is very true!

THROBBING GRISTLE have been cited as an influence on the album with ‘Normative Sludge’ examining the delusional nature of the Instagram / Tik Tok generation, why was this such an inspirational source for you?

THROBBING GRISTLE is one of our favorite bands and it not only comes down to the quality of the songs but also the way they do not fit into any single genre. They came up with a name for their own genre (Industrial) which must have been very liberating until it was stolen from them for idiots like Marilyn Manson. Going back to this idea of things falling apart, THROBBING GRISTLE is so good at having songs that sound like they’re falling apart. As we wanted to discuss the ideas of collapse, they were an obvious inspiration.

Although there is less melody this time round, do you think ‘Undoing / Undone’ and ‘I Am Nothing’ could be considered quite classic ADULT. songs?

The only way to know if something will be classic is to allow time to pass. For us, everything on this new album is too close to us right now to dissect.

Industrial S&M looms on ‘I, Obedient’, is society too submissive now?

Society is an awfully big word. Of course there are parts of society that are too submissive and there are parts of society that are resisting. Always resisting.

‘Teeth Out Pt. II’ is a doomy aural collage of drones like a symbol of decay, how did the track come together?

This is one of those magical tracks where we got the new looper and we had absolutely no idea how to operate it. Adam always reads manuals but Nicola never does and that brings two different approaches to the song writing process. So Nicola just started immediately working with the pedal and suddenly there were three or four really beautiful layers counterpointing each other. When we came back to the demo months later, we were shocked it was almost complete as it was. We even tried adding drum machines to the song but in the end it became our first song ever without any beats!

What are your hopes and fears for the future, you have talked about how “Humans have always been pretty terrible”?

We have no hopes for the future and we have many fears like everyone right now, but at the end of the day we just have to be present – at least try to. Living in the moment seems to be the most important thing right now. We played a pretty insane show in Brussels two weeks ago and there was this 9 year old girl that was the daughter of one of the volunteers at the venue that befriended us during the evening and after the show she came up to Nicola and said “Do you know what I liked about your show? You just went for it!” That’s our current motto for this time and place in time.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to ADULT.

Special thanks to Kate Price at Stereo Sanctity

‘Becoming Undone’ is released by Dais Records, available in various formats from https://adultmusic.bandcamp.com

http://adultperiod.com

https://www.facebook.com/adultperiod/

https://twitter.com/adultperiod

https://www.instagram.com/adultperiod/

https://www.daisrecords.com


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
8th April 2022

ADULT. Becoming Undone

Having made an impression in 2001 with ‘Hand To Phone’, Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller are back as ADULT. and 2022 sees the duo ‘Becoming Undone’. It captures in their own words “something that’s falling apart”.

Album number nine sees vocal loop pedals and percussion pads added to the ADULT. synth armoury to present a stark response to their surroundings.

Whereas 2017’s ‘Detroit House Guests’ saw ADULT. open their doors to collaborators such as Douglas J McCarthy from NITZER EBB, Michael Gira from SWANS and Shannon Funchess from LIGHT ASYLUM, this new body of work is more personal, with the state of the world and personal bereavement among the themes.

Opener ‘Undoing / Undone’ presents an electro-punk Siouxsie snarl over a metronomic setting that is not without threat. Energetic, aggressive and unsettling, ‘Our Bodies Weren’t Wrong’ comes with a suitably EBM backdrop.

‘Fools (We Are…)’ is a snuff movie in 5 minutes, screeching and stabbing with a more of a shout than a snarl, recalling ‘THROBBING GRISTLE’s ‘Persuasion’ but with beats. Continuing with the looming rumble of THROBBING GRISTLE, ‘Normative Sludge’ examines the delusional nature of the Instagram / Tik Tok generation with fits of white noise. The ironic ‘She’s Nice Looking’ covers a similar topic with its building rhythmic claustrophobia and schizoid delivery.

The thumping techno of ‘I Am Nothing’ is classic ADULT. with a penetrating sharpness and a fierce attacking crescendo while ‘I, Obedient’ is absorbing industrial S&M with Kuperus acting as a fitting dominatrix. Closing with ‘Teeth Out Pt. II’, this is a doomy aural collage of drones and voice… “what are we waiting for?” Kuperus asks in a symbol of desolate decay.

Despite having released music since 1998, ADULT. have shown that their dystopian demeanour remains as vital as ever and has not waned over the years as their living art project continues to evolve.

With a considered sonic cohesion that remains true to the spirit of the duo, ‘Becoming Undone’ does not disappoint and will keep the ADULT. faithful more than satisfied.


‘Becoming Undone’ is released on 25th February 2022 by Dais Records as a vinyl LP, CD and download, pre-order via https://smarturl.it/becoming-undone

ADULT. UK 2022 live dates include:

Bristol Thekla (7th March), Glasgow Slay (8th March), Manchester White Hotel (9th March), London Electrowerkz (10th March)

http://adultperiod.com

https://www.facebook.com/adultperiod/

https://twitter.com/adultperiod

https://www.instagram.com/adultperiod/

https://adultmusic.bandcamp.com

https://www.daisrecords.com


Text by Chi Ming Lai
23rd February 2022

BOY HARSHER Live at London Heaven

Since their debut long player ‘Yr Body Is Nothing’ in 2016, Massachusetts duo BOY HARSHER have become an acclaimed cult proposition.

But having opened for THE SOFT MOON on their tour of 2018, their initial aloofness has mutated into the zest and ambition of the recently released ‘Careful’.

Possibly the first great album of 2019, it is a fine musical document confronting personal demons and traumas.

Beginning their London Heaven gig with foggy blocks of light, Jae Matthews on vocals and Augustus Muller on electronics built up the drama with the schizophrenic overtones of ‘A Realness’ from their debut. But getting the first big cheers of approval was ‘Fate’, its pulsing rhythmic mantra and eerie synthetic textures encouraging deviant dancing as Matthews’ expressed her shadowy discomfort.

‘Yr Body Is Nothing’ recalled the brooding drama of the same titled debut and was followed by the abstract hypno-drone of ‘Suitor’.

Drowned in shades of red, blues, yellows and greens, Muller stood mostly passively at the controls, banging the occasional drum pad while Matthews sang and shrieked with the air of a lower register Siouxsie Sioux gone darkwave.

‘Westerners’ offered some grainy orchestra stabs to the gothic disco motif, but things got more frantic with ‘Come Closer’, its threatening ADULT. backbone providing an unsettling slice of snuff movie HI-NRG!

Indeed, it was the new material from ‘Careful’ that stood out with its more focussed, less blurry vision as exemplified by the hypnotic industrial pop ‘Tears’, complete with a gloriously alluring delivery from Matthews.

Also from ‘Careful’, the brilliant sinister techno of ‘LA’ at times threatened to turn into DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Behind The Wheel’, although this was offset by Matthews’ mournful demeanour. However, show closer ‘Modulations’ probably attracted the biggest cheer of the evening from the raucous crowd, no doubt appreciating its synth-punk aesthetics.

Returning for an encore, ‘The Look You Gave (Jerry)’ summed up the substance in BOY HARSHER’s new music despite loosening their approach.

Yes, it is synthpop because it has a tune, even if it is dressed an appealingly unconventional and morose manner. The lightshow was particularly effective here with melodic green penetrating against the moody blue.

Closing with the claustrophobic ‘Pain’ from the interim ‘Lesser Man’ EP, with a bassline not that far off from a wholly electronic version of JOY DIVISION, Matthews masochistically petered on the edge of implosion exclaiming “I love pain” before departing the stage.

Sadly, ‘Face the Fire’ was not included in the set but with this performance, BOY HARSHER successfully refined their approach without losing any of their artistic edge. Both passionate and cerebral, it was wonderfully tense and exhilarating.


Special thanks to Kate Price at Stereo Sanctity

‘Careful’ by Nude Club Records in neon orange vinyl LP, CD, cassette and download formats, available from http://www.boyharsher.bandcamp.com

http://boyharsher.com

https://www.facebook.com/boyharsher

https://twitter.com/boyharsher

https://www.instagram.com/boyharsher

http://www.nudeclubrecords.com/


Text and Photos by Chi Ming Lai
4th March 2019

BOY HARSHER Careful

BOY HARSHER formed through an urgent need to produce and consume, so by the winter of 2014, Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller started to experiment with sound, video and text.

With just a few synths, a drum machine and a laptop, their second full length album ‘Careful’ was conceived in Massachusetts, with the duo utilising their minimal electronics and intense demeanour to create a compelling narrative of a deteriorating family and a need to escape from it, expressing an understanding of love and loss, fear and joy, tenderness and pain.

An introductory mood piece ‘Keep Driving’ opens ‘Careful’ with a building percussive mantra, but the stark drama of ‘Face The Fire’ is eerie and unsettling while also accessible, with driving drum machine rhythms and cosmic synth hooks all present and correct, despite Jae Matthews’ expressions of discomfort. Meanwhile, ‘Fate’ is a brilliant sister song to ‘Face The Fire’, coming over like ADULT. meeting THE KVB with hints of SAVAGES too.

‘LA’ features a wonderfully incongruous mix of icy string synths and orchestra stabs for an enticing display of mutant electronic disco, but brilliantly sinister thanks to its varied use of effects and Matthews’ mournful demeanour. Things get even more urgent and frantic with the pulsating ‘Come Closer’, its rhythmically threatening backbone and fraught tension providing an uneasy but thrilling listen!

What is captivating about ‘Careful’ is the fabulous range of synthetic sounds on display, as exemplified by ‘The Look You Gave (Jerry)’, a perfect number for those seeking substance craving a darker edge to their synthpop… and yes BOY HARSHER are pop because they do have tunes, even if they dress them up in an appealingly unconventional and morose manner.

‘Tears’ follows the pattern laid down of ‘Careful’, strangely chunky and danceable with Matthews all deviantly alluring, while the more abstract ‘Crush’ takes proceedings down in a suitably claustrophobic manner. A steadfast hypnotism appropriately directs ‘Lost’ towards the final straight before a short cerebral conceptual piece for the closing title track.

With ‘Careful’, BOY HARSHER have refined their template without losing any of their unsettling edge. This is the first really great album of 2019, with the six song sequence from ‘Face The Fire’ to ‘Tears’ particularly outstanding.

With that, the final third does suffer slightly in comparison but this does not detract from what an excellent work this is, a fine musical document confronting personal demons and traumas.


‘Careful’ is released on 1st February 2019 by Nude Club Records in neon orange vinyl LP, CD, cassette and download formats, pre-order from http://www.boyharsher.bandcamp.com

BOY HARSHER play the following UK dates:

Bristol Lanes (24th February), Leeds Wharf Chambers (25th February), Manchester Soup Kitchen (26th February), London Heaven (27th February)

http://boyharsher.com

https://www.facebook.com/boyharsher

https://twitter.com/boyharsher

https://www.instagram.com/boyharsher

http://nudeclubrecords.com


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Nedda Afsari
21st January 2019

BOY HARSHER Fate

Following up the moody cosmic synthpop of ‘Face The Fire’, Massachusetts duo BOY HARSHER have issued a second single ‘Fate’ from their forthcoming sophomore album ‘Careful’.

Coming over a bit like ADULT. meeting THE KVB, the pairing of Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller first started working together in 2014 through a need to produce and consume, experimenting with sound, video and text.

Their first full length album ‘Yr Body is Nothing’ came out in 2016 and featured the gloomy single ‘Last Days’. ‘Fate’ is comparatively brighter but no less introspective, with a spiky electronic hook and hypnotic staccato bass line laced with Matthews’ hazy nonchalant vocals and layers of disconcerting synthesizers.

“This song is about how there’s no amount of running that will prevent you from your life” the duo explain, “You are raw and beat-down, yet you will continue to behave the same way – Fate is your own trouble, a magnetic force that’s stuck on you forever.”

With suitably blood curdling horror video directed by Bryan M. Ferguson recalling the Scarlet Johansson art horror flick ‘Under The Skin’ but without the nudity, it too was also filmed in Glasgow, the city where you go out for a laugh but leave in stiches…

Out in February 2019 via their own Nude Club Records imprint, ‘Careful’ is said to see BOY HARSHER “use the medium of minimal electronics to create a compelling narrative of a deteriorating family and the reaction to run away from it”.

Embroiled in Matthews and Muller’s emotional surroundings and potentially self-destructive creative tension, it attempts “to detail the enveloping trauma of loss combined with the fantasy of escape”.


‘Fate’ is from upcoming album ‘Careful’ released on 1st February 2019 by Nude Club Records

BOY HARSHER play the following UK dates in 2019: Bristol Lanes (24th February), Leeds Wharf Chambers (25th February), Manchester Soup Kitchen (26th February), London Heaven (27th February)

http://boyharsher.com

https://www.facebook.com/boyharsher

https://twitter.com/boyharsher

https://www.instagram.com/boyharsher


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Nedda Afsari
24th December 2018

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