Margaret Chardiet returns to Sacred Bones under her solo extreme noise moniker Pharmakon for the follow up to 2014’s Bestial Burden. Contact follows along Pharmakon’s previous nihilistic qualities thematically, but with an empathetic twist focusing more on the mind than the body, but musically? Harsh cathartic bliss, as ever.
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 29 March 2017
Clinton handed this to me asking if I was about to have lunch, but after a cursory glance at that cover I doubt I’ll be eating for a few days. Slimy, writhing fingers on your face. An oily mass of maggoty digits near your eyes and ears and mouth and nose. I’m gonna barf.
Those that know the sound of the Pharmakon won’t be too surprised by the grotesque overtones of the cover, itself mirroring Margaret Chardiet’s glorious take on power electronics that did great things on the last one Bestial Burden. There seem to be slightly more discernible tones on Contact compared to the chilling noise of the last album. It’s like an intruder alarm has got stuck on warning mode and forgotten to use punctuation. Except exclamation marks. Lots of exclamation marks. I guess these can represent her vocal injections, entering only once the fray reaches peak intensity, reaching that harsh catharsis that she strives for.
To be honest I don’t know a lot of music like this (our resident power electronics expert Robin is in the air atm) but those who enjoy stuff on Posh Isolation, Sacred Bones or stuff like a dialed up Throbbing Gristle will love this. 4th track ‘Sleepwalking Form’ has completely engulfed me, with its hypnotic repetition and spiralling yawning timbres. There’s a sound that’s like Chardiet whacking a piano with a sledgehammer while screaming viscerally. Slayer, eat your hearts out - this is hell on earth.
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