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Adult.



The members of Adult. (the period is intentional) have expressed displeasure in the past about being referred to as "electroclash," so we won't call them that, but it is safe to say that the Detroit-based duo is at the vanguard of an exciting kind of electronic retro-futurism that's very much in vogue here in the early days of the 21st century. They have been close-mouthed about their true identities, but rumor has it that they are Nicola Kuperus and Jack Vulpine (aka Adam Lee Miller), a pair of art school graduates who have decided to make a career out of reviving the "forgotten sounds of tomorrow." That's actually the motto of their Detroit electro label, Ersatz Audio, which along with Toronto-based Suction and Ann Arbor-based Ghostly International, has been essential part of the thriving Midwest electro scene of recent years.

Miller/Vulpine was previously a member of Detroit-based Le Car (with releases on Ersatz Audio), whose mid-'90s music provided one of the earlier instances of the underground dance scene's recent inclination to "go punk," mixing mechanized electronics with pop structures, vocals, and a considerable amount of subtle humor. Adult. have continued in this vein, finding a strange but human joy in the android austerity of their neo-electro sounds while using pop and dance music clich├ęs to transcend the basic assumptions of those genres. Vocals -- usually vocoded or otherwise distorted -- are a frequent part of Adult.'s music, working with the synthesized sounds themselves to offer oblique commentary on the intersection between man and machinery. But it's not like Adult. offers armchair social analysis -- or headphone electronica -- their raw blend of analog synth grooves and futuristic stylings is incredibly fun and dance floor friendly.

Adult. first got people's attention with their Dispassionate Furniture 12-inch on Ersatz Audio in 1998. Soon after came Adult. Entertainment, Nausea, and Misinterpreted, all of which raised eyebrows with their boundary-pushing electro sounds and sneeringly arch aesthetics. In 2001, the duo consolidated their gains with the Resuscitation CD. The duo has been ubiquitous on the techno-electro scene, popping up everywhere from Rotterdam to San Francisco. In 2002, they contributed the deliciously disaffected robo-sexy synth-pop track "Nite Life" to the Ghostly compilation Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau a fascinating collection of tracks by contemporary electronic artists seeking to reinterpret the robotic Italianate disco of the late '70s and early '80s.