Aaron Detroit, Hollywood 07/01/2013
Intense, confrontational and instantly classic Power Electronics/Industrial full-length from NYC's Margaret Chardiet. The maggots on the LP jacket should warn you that Pharmakon is not everyone's type of racket. For fans of Throbbing Gristle, early Diamanda Galas, and Prurient.
Margaret Chardie's music as Pharmakon is a thing of hideous beauty, finding catharsis in shrieked, inhuman vocals and electronic sounds that clang and thump like chains and broken glass. Her four-track Abandon is demanding, yet its uncompromising nature produces a thrilling nightmarescape. Its opening tracks find Chardie's vocals at shredded black metal status, while her synthesizers recall giallo soundtrack masters Goblin. On "Pitted," her vocals become more clear over a haunting, dreamier backing track, and she goes all out on "Crawling on Bruised Knees," whose looped noise calls to mind planes going down, wile Chardie is at her most direct and piercing. For the adventurous only.