Pharmakon

Abandon

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AllMusic Review by

There's comfort to be found in the familiar, but when the structures and traditions we find so soothing are twisted just so, they have the capacity to become truly unsettling. Such is the case with Abandon, the first proper album from Pharmakon -- aka Margaret Chardiet -- who twists the very building blocks of music into something altogether unsettling. In the harsh world that Pharmakon creates here, singing becomes an anguished wail, backbeats become ominous thrums of low-end noise, and rhythm sections are replaced by hypnotic surges of mechanical noise, making it clear to listeners that the structures they find comfort in have been corrupted; there is no safe haven here. Going deeper into the album, it's hard not to feel like a character from a horror film who, despite all the warnings to turn back, presses on toward his or her grisly fate. Abandon's oddly hypnotic qualities keep you moving forward, though. Once the initial shock of the grime and grind of its harsh death industrial machinations wears off, the album reveals itself to be a more meditative and patient work than its veneer of savagery would lead you to believe, so while every uneasy moment of Abandon makes you feel as though you should turn it off, the trancelike state Abandon induces makes it difficult to walk away. This state makes it clear that instead of the chaotic improv one would normally expect from a noise album like this, Abandon is an exercise in precision, drawing in its prey and exposing it to a sonic assault that will leave it both exhausted and enlightened.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
7:14 Amazon
2
7:03 Amazon
3
5:58 Amazon
4
6:35 Amazon
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26:58
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