Published Feb 17, 2017When it came time to follow up their excellent 2013 LP The Way Things Fall, Adult. invited musicians to their Detroit home for a long-term collaboration project to cohabitate with the duo while recording tracks, taking in the city and performing live shows together. The resulting LP, Detroit House Guests, finds the goth techno duo working with six separate musicians including Swans' Michael Gira, Douglas McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb and thereminist Dorit Chrysler.
The only problem is that, at times, Adult. seem more interested in the album's novelty than the finished project. The fact that each artist appears on two of the 12 tracks here helps Detroit House Guests retain a sense of musical accord (as all guests fit into the same dark wave genre), but it also manages to stifle potential creative opportunities. The industrial grime of "We Chase the Sound" (featuring Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum) and the unfortunate scat duet "They're Just Words" (featuring vocals from McCarthy and Adult.'s Nicola Kuperus) come off hastily conceived, and could have benefitted from the input of the album's other guests.
But Detroit House Guests works best when Adult. push their sound towards the avant-garde. Metallic molasses opener "P rts M ss ng" (featuring Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, aka Lichens) and the raspingly powerful "Uncomfortable Positions" (featuring Lun*na Menoh of Les Sewing Sisters) give the LP the daring and exploratory feel that this type of project should have provided. (Mute)