As seen in issue 55 of Closer Magazine, published on 2009-01-06 in the "NationalMusic" section.

Grown Up All Wrong
sacry, sexy, Adult. puts the electroshock in electronica
By: Tuesday Gilliam

I think I was supposed to feel terrified that ADULT. was playing Miami during Art Basel. I am pretty scared of their music, and I am hoping that is the point.

ADULT. is made up of Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, two innovative artists of many parts who have notably changed and morphed a musical category of their own. “It’s like having a paper cut,” Kuperus says. “It is an odd sensation of simultaneous agitation and relief.”

“Our style started because we wanted to put vocals in electronic music,” she says. “We wanted to make punk music with electronics. When we started, electronic music and indie--or whatever you want to call it--were very divided. Guitar-based bands didn’t use synthesizers and vice versa. Or you didn’t see a more synth band tour with a more rock band. A lot has changed.”

My take? ADULT is like blood squirting everywhere and knives jabbed in my eyes while some super rad chick (Kuperus, who would most definitely kick my ass) moans/screams one-word sentences in a shrill almost beautiful, definitely seductive, but definitely disturbing vocal. Accompanied by keyboard player Miller, who likes to chime in with eerie one-handed Halloween sounds, it all goes over a pretty sick beat. If all the hysteria wasn’t distracting me, I’d be loving it.

If you are not like me you’re going to love it because they have been making music for eleven years and you probably already know and love them. That’s eleven years of non-stop releases, albums, and collaborations.

The Detroit-based, married duo’s most recent project is an “easy to understand” compilation of four cuts in their signature techno-goth style, Let’s Feel Bad Together, a “digital download only” EP available at

It follows a year that centered around the mixed media project DECAMPMENT, a “silent-experimental-short-horror film” with an original score performed live at each screening. An exploration of the aesthetic ADULT. refers to as “Midwestern horror,” the film’s story follows a woman’s descent from “normal” life into a world of deceit. The work debuted May 9 at the Detroit Institute of the Arts and has since screened at the prestigious art house venues The Silent Movie Theater, in Los Angeles, and Anthology Film Archives, in New York.

“It’s an experimental horror art film,” Kuperus says. “Because we play the soundtrack live, it’s difficult to find venues that are just right for it. But we are very proud of it and excited by the idea of making more things in this vein.”

The year also saw the rolling release of the “DECAMPMENT Trilogy,” a series of three unique seven-inch vinyl recordings, each limited to a press run of 100 hand numbered copies, each including a 16”x20” color photograph signed and numbered by Kuperus.

The group’s original—and highly unsettling—work practically demands a diy approach, so ADULT. has since 1995 run their own record label.

“It’s called Ersatz Audio,” Kuperus says. “We still run it, but it’s a difficult thing right now to sell records. The economy isn’t great and lots of people just download stuff. If you aren’t putting loads of money into press and ads then it’s hard to sell a lot of records. Word of mouth is tough in a world where all lines of communication are jammed full.”

Kuperus opened lines of communication on another front, as part of an exhibit at Art Basel called “Studio Visit,” which included six artists--three from Detroit and three from Miami. In addition to the photos from the “DECAMPMENT Trilogy,” there was a half dozen more examples of her work. Most of her photos are of women with great legs, in compromising and/or oddly sinister settings.

The duo performed at the “Studio Visit” after party, after openers Yip Yip. And what else did Yip Yip and ADULT. have in common? They played SpiderPussy at White Room together after Art Basel and…they pounded keys--like a death metal version of ska with a synthesizer tweeking the whole caboodle. The groups had played together before and Miller considers them “one of the best bands making music right now.”

The White Room show was off the hook, one and all agreed. The place went—in a word—nuts, with uncontrollable outbreaks of crowd surfing erupting through the chaos.

New projects? “I’m busy working on photography,” Kuperus says. “Adam is working on a series of new paintings, just getting back into it after a thirteen-year hiatus. That’s funny, thirteen years; knowing Adam, he planned it that way.”

Other NationalMusic Articles In This Issue:
Sounds Familiar

Previous Articles:
1, Been Caught Spinning
2, Partying through the Apocalypse
3, The Final Service

Future Articles:
1, Been Caught Spinning
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