Adult. In-depth Biography
Of the innumerable electro-techno acts to arise from Detroit during the 1990s, Adult. may be the most unique, instantly recognizable for their starkly grim visual style as well as their anxiety-ridden music style. Adult. (note the period) is comprised of married couple Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, who began their recording career together as Plasma Co., a name by which only an obscure 12", Modern Romantics, was released in 1998. Miller had been releasing music on his electro-techno label Ersatz Audio since 1995, beginning with his debut as Artificial Material. He also released music on Ersatz Audio as Le Car, a duo also including Ian Clark; confusingly, the two billed themselves in Le Car as Adam Equation and Ian Cinch-Jones. However, it wasn't until 1998 that Miller began releasing music produced in conjunction with Kuperus.
The two debuted their Adult. project in November 1998 with the Dispassionate Furniture EP. Another EP, Entertainment, followed a year later, while their song "Lost Love" appeared on the Ersatz Audio various-artists 12" Oral-Olio a few months earlier, in June 1999. Kuperus unveiled her talent for photography in 2000 on the limited-edition New Phonies EP, released by the Dutch label Clone; the foreboding images on each side of the picture disc 12" are typical of her trademark style, which would thereafter become a celebrated staple of Adult. releases. After another 12" EP, Nausea, and a compilation appearance, The Forgotten Sounds of Tomorrow ("Silent Property," "Human Wreck"), both in 2000, Ersatz Audio released the debut Adult. CD, Resuscitation, in 2001. Though most of the 14 songs on Resuscitation were culled from previous releases, primarily the 12" EPs, many are versions or mixes exclusive to the CD. By this point, Adult. had become widely known and were quite renowned within the techno underground. Plus, their live performances, including a memorable one at the inaugural Detroit Electronic Music Festival, helped them reach a growing audience.
Adult.'s first full-length of all-new material, Anxiety Always (2003), was preceded by a remix EP, Misinterpreted, and a 7" single, Limited Edition, in 2002. Miller and Kuperus promoted Anxiety Always with tours of Europe and the U.S. throughout 2003 before withdrawing from the spotlight for much of 2004. Then, rather surprisingly, Adult. moved to the Chicago label Thrill Jockey, via which they released an EP, D.U.M.E. (2005), and full-length, Gimmie Trouble (2005), both of which featured guitarist Samuel Consiglio. The move to Thrill Jockey signaled the end of Ersatz Audio, which didn't so much close up shop as it did cease new-release operations. After touring in support of Gimmie Trouble with Consiglio in tow, Miller and Kuperus took some time off before returning in 2007 with another Thrill Jockey release, Why Bother? Adult. returned to their original husband-and-wife membership for the noisy album, and they commenced widespread touring almost immediately. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi