After a quarter century of nearly nonstop activity, dystopian Detroit synth-punk trailblazers ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) have perfected a strain of stylistic cohesion in the album format. Their new immediate single “I Am Nothing”, available today via DAIS, was inspired by Detroit Techno circa 92-95 (where they live), Alan Vega (Suicide), Michael Gira (Swans) and Gundrun Gut (Malaria!).
“The meaning of ‘nothing’ in the context of this song is not in regards to worthlessness, but of being lodged into something we can not understand and yet somehow accept it / or not accept it,” ADULT. tell of the track. “We are collectively living in liminality. And personally, we are more content currently to be in a state of nothingness.”
The making of Becoming Undone began in the latter half of 2020 against a backdrop of unprecedented flux and seismic isolation, the duo kickstarted their muse by sourcing fresh additions to the rig: a vocal loop pedal for Kuperus and Roland percussion pads for Miller. Reconnecting with legacy influences like the politicized industrial percussion of Test Department and the queasy miscreant synthetics of TG’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats sparked a series of fruitfully frenetic sessions, centered on themes of impermanence and dissonance. Miller’s rationale is blunt: “We weren’t interested in melody or harmony since we didn’t see the world having that.”
The album is also freighted with a more personal pain, as Kuperus’ father passed away during the height of the pandemic, just before the album took root. As his hospice caretakers, she and Miller faced the banality of finality, surrounded by objects drained of meaning, “the joy of having a body, but also the drudgery of having one.”
Both sides bristle with strident acidic revolt and black leather sequential circuits, unhinged and unforgiving. From technoid blitzes to slower tempos of purgatorial unraveling, Becoming Undone showcases a breadth of vocal FX. Kuperus at times sounds alternately indignant and possessed, decrying the crimes, fears, and failings of a deluded world. Throughout, the band’s chemistry crackles with revulsion and strobe-lit dissent, equal parts exorcism and denunciation. “Humans have always been pretty terrible,” Kuperus explains. “But every year the compromises of culture just accelerate.”
Becoming Undone sees its release via Dais Records across all digital platforms on February 25. Vinyl and CD formats will be available in stores worldwide on March 11. To pre-order and save go here. ADULT. hit the road this Spring on an extensive North American tour with Kontravoid and Spike Hellis following their UK and EU run. For a full list of dates and purchase tickets here.