Suffused in sirens, police warnings, and even the ear-splitting chirp of a crowd-control weapon, Fatima Al Qadiri's third album is a harrowing meditation on freedom of expression and state violence. As ever, her music takes grime to ominous extremes, whether working with the horn blasts of "Blows" or the icy stabs and gunshots of "Breach," and her favored palette—choral pads, plucked tones, alien tunings—adds to the otherworldly air. Nevertheless, Brute can also sound surprisingly gentle: The beatless "Oubliette" would seem almost pretty if you didn't know that's a type of dungeon.

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