top of page



Nonlethal Weapons is an experimental electronic project by David Kumler, a musician, producer, multimedia artist, and academic currently based in New Orleans.

David Kumler is best known for his work as half of the postpunk/darkwave outfit Foxxxy Mulder and for his numerous solo releases under the moniker Occult A/VHe has also released a handful of garage/punk tracks under the moniker Cosmic Bummer.

Kumler initially broke into Seattle's underground electronic scene with his work as Occult A/V, an eclectic project blending instrumental hip hop with UK garage and ambient influences. Through the vehicle of Occult A/V, Kumler began hosting a regular experimental electronic night called Death Rehearsal at a number of Seattle Venues. Death Rehearsal brought together artists from all ends of the electronic music spectrum—from harsh noise wall and ambient to hardware techno and DnB—creating a space for Seattle's freaks and weirdos to dance to unconventional beats. While Death Rehearsal featured a number of local and regional DJs and producers, it primarily championed Seattle's thriving hardware electronics scene in all its monstrous shapes and forms. Inspired by the innovation around him, Kumler launched Nonlethal Weapons, a project that would place the harsher and more chaotic tendencies of Kumler's music front and center.

Shortly after debuting Nonlethal Weapons at a handful of Seattle shows and via Deathrage Records' Death Rehearsal Vol. 1 compilation, Kumler moved from Seattle to New Orleans. Driving from the Pacific Northwest to Louisiana during the hottest summer on record would provide at least some inspiration for Nonlethal Weapons' debut album, Inappropriate and a Little Bit Sick, which utilizes numerous forms of musique concrète, including the sampled sounds of Kumler's broken ceiling fan in his New Orleans apartment.


However, if there's a single theme that runs through Inappropriate and a Little Bit Sick, it's that of wealth inequality and class warfare, things Kumler encountered on a regular basis living in Seattle. Seattle—home to Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and one of the nations largest houseless populations—is a city that caters to the rich and wears this fact on its sleeve. It's a city where the homeless sleep under the awnings of the city's most expensive restaurants, only to be swept away by 4:30 am police bike patrols whose primary job is to make poverty invisible. Seattle's astronomical rents keep the working class living paycheck to paycheck while landlords line their pockets at ever-increasing rates, and a grossly overfunded police force dutifully serves the interests of capital while perpetuating racist violence. But Seattle is also a city where the underclasses fight back. Living in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood during the 2020 George Floyd insurrection, Kumler experienced first hand not only the nightly explosions of police stun grenades and the skies clouded with teargas, but also the joyful populist takeover of Capitol Hill via the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. 


While Kumler's experience in Seattle fundamentally informed Nonlethal Weapons' creative output, moving to New Orleans only underscored the fact that Seattle's problems, while in some ways unique, are far from a local phenomenon. The album artwork for Inappropriate and a Little Bit Sick features the entrance to Audubon Place, an extremely wealthy New Orleans neighborhood where the street itself has been privatized and where, during Katrina, Blackwater mercenaries were hired and flown in to keep out those who had lost everything.


If Inappropriate and a Little Bit Sick is bleak, that's because it's reflection of the world we currently inhabit. Nonlethal Weapons' brooding, politically-infused work in many ways reflects the output of other influential noise techno artists like Vatican Shadow and Muslimgauze, whose music and visual aesthetics place violence, conflict, and warfare front and center. However, Nonlethal Weapons' work also embodies a recognition that, amid hopelessness and fear, there are nevertheless momentary ruptures of insurrectionary joy. It celebrates the fact that, at the end of the day, as Mark Blythe puts it, "the Hamptons is not a defensible position... eventually people will come for you." Equal parts dancible and abrasive, Inappropriate and a Little Bit Sick is both a soundtrack to class war and a sly nod to Emma Goldman's notion that a revolution without dancing is perhaps not a revolution worth having.


- Owen Ellis, Deathrage Collective


New Orleans, LA
Techno, Noise, Post-Punk, Experimental, Electronic
  • Bandcamp
  • Soundcloud
  • Spotify
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter




November 22, 2023

Mudlark Public Theater, New Orleans, LA
w/ Total Chroma [Vancouver]

and Nail Club [New Orleans]


"A tumultuous and sweeping journey, an audacious mix of textures and beats that push the boundaries of experimentalism."
- Viktor Raphael, Beat for Beat (on Nonlethal Weapons' "Corporate Reflex")

"Moody and dreamy... with pulsating synths, ethereal arpeggios with sparse drum grooves, and cinematic sound design to boot. There is quite a lot to unpack on this one as it’s layered and employs different elements that are weaved seamlessly."
- Tayu Odutola, The Word is Bond (on Occult A/V's "Tide Pools")

"A phenomenon at once terrifying and glorious."
- Jon Doyle, Various Small Flames (on Occult A/V's Speculative Apocalypse)

© Deathrage Records 2023

bottom of page