Music List | posted 04.05.2020
ADULT.
10 All Time Favs
ADULT. have been making music for more than 20 years now. And they still don’t want simple attributions, sunlight, self-deception. Instead they wanted to call us records, which they shaped, improved, formed.
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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ADULT. – Perception Is / As / DeceptionFind it at hhv.de: Black Vinyl LP | ● Green Vinyl LP For more than two decades Adam Lee Miller alias Le Car and Nicola Kuperus have been working together under the name ADULT. To what exactly? Pretty simple: trivial attributions, sunlight, self-deception. Their new album is the eighth of the Detroit duo. It was recorded in a darkened and blacked-out room and is called »Perception is/as/of Deception«, which is a kind of cave allegory for the 21st century: What if everything we accept so easily is not what it seems to be?

Anyone who is already dizzy in the head about this should better sit down before the music starts. With fidgety drummachine grooves, synth lines that flicker in an icy cold and Kuperus’ fading understatement vocals, ADULT. make a statement in the direction of Zeitgeist and take full advantage of the treasure chest of their (own) past, which is definitely international: The references to EBM and New Beat point to Belgium, the shimmering melodies to the Italo-Disco stronghold Milan, the dirty patina to Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and London. And then there’s the unflinching machine rattling that the two took into their blood as children of rock, motor and techno city Detroit.

»Perception is/as/of Deception« is not only a stocktaking of the status quo, but at the same time is to be understood as a preliminary end result of more than two decades of band history, which in turn has absorbed a few more years of music history. They have helped shape Kuperus and Miller since they founded their label Ersatz Audio in 1995 and debuted as ADULT. shortly after. What has shaped, inspired and driven them from then to now is shown by their 10 All Time Favs. One thing is for sure: Both of them don’t want to be pigeonholed or pigeonholed, that’s right. This is what makes ADULT. so important even after more than two decades in the business.


You can find the Vinyl Records of ADULT. in the Webshop of HHV Records.


Einstürzende Neubauten – Perpetuum Mobile 1 – Einstürzende Neubauten – Perpetuum Mobile (Mute) (2001) | Vinyl LP
Nicola Kuperus: Brilliant album, as are all of their albums, but this one in particular I really love. Saw them tour this album in Detroit: April 2004. The first and so far only time I’ve ever seen them. I was in such a trance of euphoria the entire show that I didn’t realize how close I had been standing to the speakers, for the next 4 days it sounded like trash cans rolling around in my head. The worst tinnitus I’ve had next to seeing SWANS. Also, fanned out and had Blixa sign the back of my Tamion 12 Inch shirt (a now defunct Detroit band), which I still own and cherish. »There’s a place around the corner where your dead friends live….«

Chavela Vargas ‎– Chavela Vargas En Carnegie Hall 2 – Chavela Vargas – ’ Chavela Vargas En Carnegie Hall (Warner Music) (2004)
Nicola Kuperus: It’s wild to think when this live performance was recorded Chavela was 83. I could listen to this recording at any time, regardless of my mood it is always perfect. The range in this album is what makes it my favorite of hers. You can feel her journey of being an artist and how time has changed her range and confidence.

Swans – Leaving Meaning 3 – SWANS – Leaving Meaning (Mute) (2019) | Vinyl 2LP
Nicola Kuperus: I’m a fan of all SWANS albums, so it’s hard to pick. I picked the latest because I feel like it’s a great culmination of all things SWANS. I’ve been doing quite a lot of woodworking while listening to this album; mostly, tung oiling huge walnut frames. It’s repetitive work. This album is like a great story unfolding. Poetic. Almost sentimental at one moment then it makes a turn and it’s intense as fuck, a true journey in sound. You can really sink your teeth into it as you work and/or labor.

The Cure – The Head on the Door 4 – The Cure – Head On The Door (Polydor) (1985) | Vinyl LP
Nicola Kuperus: This was the second Cure album I bought in my life timeline, the first was The Top when I was 12. It took many years to understand that record (which I love). This album I bought years later and it has stayed with me since. I find great comfort in this record. It was their sixth album and at the time probably their most pop, which is strange to think because I find it as unusual and boundary pushing as ever.

Suicide – American Supreme 5 – Suicide – American Supreme (Mute Records) (2002)
Nicola Kuperus: Hated this record when it came out in 2002, and now it’s one of my go to albums. I could listen to “I Don’t Know” every damn day for the rest of time. What I also love about this album is thinking about how bands get to be know for or classified by a certain song, aka Ghost Rider, which too me is so limiting. This album really speaks of their avant-garde nature to not give a fuck.


John Foxx – Metamatic 1 – John Foxx – Metamatic (Metal Beat) (1980) | Vinyl LP
Adam Lee Miller: This was the first album in my life that really effected my music at a young age. I would have purchased it around 1988 at a second hand record store in Indiana. I was in a punk band, but felt that trajectory had a limited life span. This album had everything I was looking for – such as; references to literature, confrontation through alien instrumentation and the CR78 as a strong, main drum machine (not backup for a live drummer). In 1996, I ran a short lived record label called Monoplaza – plaza being a reference to ‘Plaza’ on this record.

Virgin Prunes – if I Die 2 – Virgin Prunes – If I Die, I Die (Rough Trade) (1982) | Vinyl LP
Adam Lee Miller: This is that album you buy too young (I probably got it in 1987) and have no idea how to process it. It would sit in my small record collection and periodically I would pick it up and try again. I couldn’t understand how strange and repetitive ‘Caucasian Walk’ was – but it was almost what I understood about “punk.” With that song, I at least had a comparison, where as songs like ‘Dave-Id is Dead’ were like a foreign language to me. But like any education it took time, and I am grateful for how much it taught me. And was excited to see years later reading the liner notes for the umpteenth time that Colin Newman from Wire produced it.

John Harrison – OST Creepshow 3 – John Harrison – OST Creepshow (Varèse Sarabande) (1982) | Vinyl LP
Adam Lee Miller: We are huge horror soundtrack fans in this household. This is my favorite (next to ‘The Fog’ by John Carpenter). It is so easy to picture every scene with the music and the Juno 106 work is perfect. The Juno 106 was my first synth, but it wasn’t until years later I figured out the correlation.

Depeche Mode - Music For The Masses 4 – Depeche Mode – Music For The Masses (Mutel) (1987) | Vinyl 12inch Box | Vinyl LP
Adam Lee Miller: If you want a record to be with you for a long time, hit a telephone pole at 60 mph with out wearing a seatbelt while listening to it. In 1988, I slid on black ice while racing home to beat curfew in the Indiana countryside. I hit a telephone pole straight on and my face went into the windscreen and my knees blew out the dashboard. I crawled to a nearby farmhouse through the snow while Agent Orange played until the transformer wires fell on my car and ignited it.

Public Image Limited – This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get 5 – Public Image Ltd – This is What You Want… This is What You Get (Virgin) (1984) | Vinyl LP
Adam Lee Miller: So many people say ‘Second Edition’ is their favorite P.I.L. album, but this is definitely mine. The synth work is incredible. ‘Tie Me to the Length of That’ takes ‘Chant’ from the ‘Second Edition’ to a whole new dimension. ‘The Order of Death’ is one of my favorite songs of all time! I just love the hypnotic repetition of this album that can quickly turn to in-your-face chants… and Lydon’s vocals are so perfectly angular and unexpected from song to song. We don’t like genre – Lydon wow!


You can find the Vinyl Records of ADULT. in the Webshop of HHV Records.

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