18+ , ” boy” and “sis “
The duo from Los Angeles was formed in 2011 within a mystery about their identities. Their first recordings, a trilogy of mixtapes entitled M1xtape, Mixta2e. and Mixtap3, were launched under the anonymous titles of ‘Boy’ (aka Justin Swinburne) and ‘Sis’ (aka Samia Mirza). In August 2014, 18+ released their first single, ‘Crow / Horn’, on London nightclub Fabric’s record label Houndstooth, which was followed by their debut album named Trust in November 2014.
They refer to 18+ as a platform used to navigate the ambiguous grey areas and paradoxes between public and private spheres of technologically-mediated socialization. They created internet personas and art projects in order to release disturbing and sexual electronic music. That sounded convincing enough for me to buy a ticket to see them performing live their debut album at CorsicaStudios.
If I really had to describe their style then I would say American minimal hip-hop and RnB with experimental electronic beats and alternating lyrical duets. Their lyrics are strong, some times even provocative and they talk about sex as much as proper sex addicts. They both remain committed in their roles, cold, serious without showing emotion while their visuals are projected on their faces and on the wall.
The duo’s aesthetic often mixes humanoids (mostly big-titted) with images of real -live people and blends avatars with home footage. Despite how disturbing that might sound, the outcome is impressive, provocative, memorable. Ironically or not, I have never thought that I would like a project called 18+.