After meeting in Melbourne in 2015, Brutalist came together via virtual correspondence after John relocated back to the UK. However, contradictory to what some say of long-distance relationships, this one pulled through.
Wildly technical and highly textual, Brutalist Mixtape is a bumpy, seven track ride through the highs and lows of glitchy modern electronica.
A haunting piano melody opens the mixtape on He Was A Good Man. The song is perfectly inviting, building slowly from a simple piano melody to a stitched-up mixture of electronic elements transforming the track completely – and making you sure to stick around for the following six tunes.
Track two is Strep. It’s complex, intriguing and mystifying in equal measure, so it’s only fitting that the visual accompaniment to the duo’s debut single is a stunning homage to the beauty and mystery of Tokyo. Filmed and directed by Rory Pearson, the video demonstrates the opposing elements of the city.
Hassel said, “After listening to Strep, I knew straight away that Tokyo would make the perfect setting for the music video. Tokyo has an innate contrast between chaos and calm, just as the song evokes.”
“It is its own entity; a bustling, futuristic and highly sensorial place. However, there is this ever present sense of peacefulness and order that lies under the rush.”
This light-and-shade imagery captured beautifully by Pearson seems to be a recurring theme of the record. Like Strep‘s video, each song is a rollercoaster through glitchy heights and ringing, bass-heavy lows.
“Throughout filming, I wanted to focus on the individual and how they carve out their own little space of calm within in a city of nearly 14 million people…”
Future Won’ts is the closer, and it’s one of those pieces of music which can move you from complete calm to being on-the-edge-of-your-seat-anxious. It develops in peaks and troughs, bursting suddenly into some fast-moving 80s synth before slowing right back down to almost nothing and building right back up again.
The entire mixtape is a meticulous piece of work, with each track ending so far from where it started. Layering a combination of elements, including classical piano and strings with lyricless electronic soundscapes, this is a record which will only continue to develop as you listen.
So pop your headphones in, hit play and quite literally drift away.