Adult Art Club aka Zac and Matt hav just released their self-titled debut LP. Released through RÜFÜS DU SOL’s imprint Rose Avenue Records – the underground album features 13 incredible records that must be dived into.
While each track exists in a singular universe, collectively the pair have curated an all-encompassing journey that mixes low-slung, sinister vibes, soul-shifting drops, and crunchy samples as they skillfully toe the line between light and dark at every turn. Citing acts like Jamie XX, Gorillaz and The Prodigy, Adult Art Club sits on a spectrum that flows through light and dark.
Adult Art Club have provided an exclusive track-by-track breakdown for the album, explaining how each track came to be and the inspiration behind them.
Artists are collectors. We collect memories, fragment them and catalogue them. When we perform, we draw on these memories, and they become pieces of our art jigsaw.
Namesake: Naarm artist, Blu Jay @shaded_blu_
Shaded Blu was a record that assembled itself about half way through the album writing timeline, a big cross-roads in terms of our production on this album where heavier records started to become much lighter. It draws heavily from influences like Jamie XX, someone very familiar with atypical song structure. We wanted to add that unstructured, live music flavour to our ideas in this song and have it feel like each element is borrowed from different records, all assembled into one medley. The voice lines you hear throughout are snippets of videos and voice memos recorded over the course of the last 4 years.
All Together Here Together
ATHT is a really interesting record from our perspective. It came after a moment of technical discovery for us – figuring out a way that we could use one of the old Running Touch demos as an actual instrument. The piano and lead call and response you hear is actually a resampling of this demo, pitch shifted to be unrecognisable. The drums are my favourite part of this track. They are heavily inspired by my favourite artist, Burial – a tip of the hat to his insanely textured, humanised and off kilter drum patterns.
Namesake: Vincent Van Gogh
This record pushed the boundaries in terms of just how (romantically) sloppy and unrefined we could leave each element. Leaving in things like artefacts, clicks and blips to emphasise our commitment to embracing our technical mistakes. Musically speaking this one is again inspired by Jamie XX, with a free flowing structure and off-the-grid polyrhythmic lead sound.
Namesake: Zofia Stryjenska
Quite possibly the oldest record on the album, Zofia went through a few different versions to modernise itself into what it is now. It’s definitely one of the more aggressive records too – the lead sample is actually a recording from a rave in the 90s, with the vocals and crowd being from that same recording.
Namesake: Tamara De Lempicka
Lempicka was the first record that clicked for us. The concept of art history references intertwined with our music was born from this track. The vocals are a nod to Polish painter Tamara De Lempicka, with a lot of the lyrical content based around some of her paintings (“name a better green lift”/Tamara in the Green Bugatti etc) and our Polish heritage.
Namesake: Salvador Dali
This track we feel was best represented by Salvador Dali’s art. Its nightmarish sounds are definitely a throw to some of his dream-state paintings, the intro a short and melodic descent from sleep into a nightmare, and the cadence of the bassline makes you feel like you’re frantically running through it. The palette for this single’s artwork is referenced from his painting “walking elephants”.
Zac wanted for this track to be “drum free” in a way – completely removed from dancy rave sounds and filled with lush cinematic elements. The original samples are another example of resampling and pitch shifting Running Touch demos, which are usually quite hopeful, into something super sombre and forlorn. The vocals are manipulated stems from the B takes from Four Dancers, and just fit so well with the overall nature of the cinematic parts.
Namesake: Tom Hunter @goblintom
Easily the most in your face, brutal and guttural track on the record, this track originally had unspeakably bad vocals, and upon translating them realised just how out of pocket they were. We knew we had to change them, but we just couldn’t get the same timing and impact that the originals had. After many many different ideas, in came some Polish vocals that completely changed the dynamic of the track.
Namesake: Krystyna Smiechowska
Krystyna was an early demo, and one of the original records we showed to our friends at Rose Avenue. Its length is inspired by longer tracks like Rufus Du Sol’s ‘Innerbloom’ and ‘Imaginary Air’, and we feel like its length lets it tell its best story.
Namesake: Edgar Degas
Zac’s favourite record on the album. Little sound bites and personal additions from whatsapp calls and voice memos make this one quite personal. It was nice to experiment with a shorter format and the vocals really leant to the frantic changes in the structure. The melodic parts are also heavily resampled, one of which from an unreleased AAC track.
Namesake: Yayoi Kusama
(Zac) I’ve got a real soft spot for this one. We worked with the original Ocean Grove vocalist Luke Holmes to give the attitude we needed for this track. It’s really a collection of tens of references spanning two and a half decades of memories. The drums in the introduction references Bryan Fury’s theme from Tekken 3, a fighting game on the PS1. The lead sound in the first and second A chorus references the italian government’s nuclear warning alarm. The guitar parts references late 90s nu metal, bands like Limp Bizkit and RATM. The “UHH” sound effect is a reference to Jet Set Radio Future, a rollerblading game on the original Xbox. The drum line in the choruses are a reference to the Matrix soundtrack.
It’s quite simply a chaotic medley of memories.
I’m Ok, I’m Fine
We just loved how weird and simple this track was, especially to make. It started with the core idea from the intro and progressed so naturally into its structure and vocals. The instrumental was just shouting for weirdness so we added a tonne of weird guitar sustains and delays to fill it out. Billie Eilish was a big inspiration on this one, and I think Matt’s close up, under-the-blankets delivery – similar to her records like Bad Guy and Everything I Wanted really lent to the overall aesthetic of the record.
A Thousand Golden People
This demo was originally made all the way back in 2014 by Matt, and a few years later some stems made their way into an Ocean Grove track. We felt it deserved a breaky, aggressive dance version and got to work on another version for this album. What we love about this track is the unconventional spaghetti-western guitar chords that play in parts, separating it from the monotony of the core idea. We honestly found it hilarious that some of the stuff we wrote for it at the time made it into the final version of the track. They just fit too well.
Explore the whole album below!