This review is for ADULT.'s only.Mute Records, 2017
7.0 / 10
If you believe Tim Kasher, “Art is hard.” So hard, that musicians often undertake extreme measures to create an album. ADULT.’s new album, Detroit House Guests, is such an album. ADULT., the duo of Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, put their brains together for a crazy idea back in the early 2000s. Basically it’s this: let’s get some musicians to come live and work with us in our studio for three weeks. The musicians to accept ADULT.’s invitation is a varied list. The “Detroit house guests” include such artists as Douglas J McCarthy from Nitzer Ebb, Michael Gira from Swans, Shannon Funchess from Light Asylum, just to name a few. Get this much talent to live, cook, breathe, and work with you, and it should be an interesting album.
And Detroit House Guests IS an interesting album. One thing immediately noticeable is how its guests all sound as if they recently escaped an insane asylum. Kuperus and Miller play with their guests’ voices all over the album. Words fade in and out, they echo, they sound downright certifiable. Perhaps that’s what happens when you live with Kuperus and Miller for three weeks (I keed, fellas). Then again, guests like Michael Gira and Shannon Funchess bring the crazy in their regular projects. Lun*na Menoh particularly stands out on songs, “Into The Drum” and “Uncomfortable Positions”. Menoh conjures an image of a sacrifice on “Into The Drum” with her witchy wailing. It’s strange but exists on an album of oddities.
Is Detroit House Guests a dance album? Well, it’s certainly energetic. “We Chase The Sound” is a fast paced banger with Shannon Funchess leading the chase over a throbbing beat and whispery percussion. For most of the album, Kuperus and Miller’s production creates a mood that’s eerie and heavy on the tension. “Uncomfortable Positions” lives up to its title. It makes you uncomfortable with its wormy bass and percussion that chimes and thuds.
The album’s best (read: creepiest) song is “Breathe On”. It’s one of ADULT.’s collaborations with Michael Gira. The song sounds like a Swans song, only more electronic. He does his usual zombie moaning as voices utter lines like, “No sense will find you.” It’s all hope and no despair. So can you dance to Detroit House Guests? Only if you’re a sick individual. But you don’t have to be sick to enjoy the album for its weird creativity.