Pharmakon - Abandon ( CD Sacred Bones)

Confrontation is on the agenda of 22 year old New Yorker Margaret Chardiet. She is the driving force behind Pharmakon, her power electronics/ noise project. Abandon is her first official album, after a series of self released cassettes and cdr's. From the cover image of maggots crawling between her legs to the often harrowing and "exorcised" screams within, it demands your attention. Comparisons with early Swans and Diamanda Galas are not too far off the mark, particularly on "Pitted" with pulsating drum and drone and shards of electronics sometimes brutal, always authentic. It's the desire to express pain, that comes through the sounds. Pharmakon is an ancient Greek word meaning simultaneous poison and remedy and you can sense there is some real catharsis or indeed, exorcism going on here. I'd love to be able to decipher what's going on lyrically, but Chardiet herself describes it as being about, “Loss. Losing everything. Relinquishing control. Complete psychic abandon. Blind leaps of faith into the fire, walking out unscathed. Crawling out of the pit.” Highlight for me is the 27 minute cd only bonus track Sour Sap, which is really 5 or 6 pieces in one, where Chardiet really stretches out and adds more dimensions.
which bodes well for future Pharmakon releases.