Review: Red Brut – Red Brut (KRAAK, May 26)

Marijn Verbiesen, also a member of Sweat Tongue and JSCA, embarks into solo territory on her new self-titled record as Red Brut. It’s a short but fruitful foray into a unique brand of do-it-yourself experimentalism, with Verbiesen stitching together haphazard compositions from fuzzy tape loops, lo-fi ambiance, and bouts of enigmatic cassette concrète. The pieces that make up Red Brut create a unique atmosphere that’s somewhere between cute and unsettling, residing in an enticing sonic uncanny valley. The sounds themselves are thin, plasticky, even novel, but when put together they make up something much more formidable. Closing track “Paracetamol” is one of the record’s strongest, built atop muffled tape loops that find harmony with out of context acoustic explorations, a murky sample of a woman softly singing (possibly Verbiesen herself), and a peaceful section of ambient synthesizer. The piece covers a lot of ground in under five minutes, but the palette used is so demure that there’s no feeling of disjointedness. And the rest of Red Brut is very much the same way; Verbiesen accomplishes so much with so little, and the record’s humility only gives it more strength.