the project of New York's vocalist and electronic musician
evoked the harrowing vocal catastrophes of Diamanda Galas on
Abandon (Sacred Bones, 2013).
The mostly instrumental overture Milkweed unwinds as a flow of
hissing dissonance and distorted voices very much in the vein of
Throbbing Gristle but its alter-ego
It Hangs Heavy then implodes under the weight of tortured screams.
The relentless funeral rite Pitted is only the appetizer for the
terrifying caged liturgy of Ache, eventually drowned in a
swarm of ghosts.
Crawling On Bruised Knees is a cross between air bombing and
nervous breakdown, with a robotic voice that tries to recite a poem.
This is horror-industrial theater of a very high caliber.
The 27-minute Sour Sap is the ultimate recital, a dialogue between
martial sub-bass and beasty vocal sounds followed by a
tribal machine dance, a bleak bass melody, industrial miasmas, a witchy
vomit-like lied accompanied with metronomic metallurgic noise, and then
orgasmic breasthing, marching prison chains, a distorted chaotic rave-up,
After another pause, it suddenly takes off like a swirling pulsing
Von Lmo jam, and it's the final assault.
While a bit disorganized and probably "accidental" (just a computer collage
of powerful leftovers),
Sour Sap feels like a multi-movement suite, a program of expressionist
pantomimes, a concentrate of unholy subhuman noises.
Margaret Chardiet's vocals steal the show on
Bestial Burden (Sacred Bones, 2014), which opens with
the breathing orgy of Vacuum.
The eight-minute Intent Or Instinct builds up
traumatic tension as it blends an agonizing tribal rhythm with her feral screams.
She is at her best when she
unleashes her demonic Diamanda Galas-esque invocation over martial moribund percussion in
Body Betrays Itself.
Her performance oer childish tom-tom banging in Autoimmune sounds like Foetus vomiting on a Pere Ubu-esque post-industrial voodoobilly.
The seven-minute Bestial Burden indulges in more conventional recitation,
an expressionist kammerspiel devoured in a whirlwind of witchy laughter.
Certainly not as powerful as Abandon, this diligent follow-up
sounded like a failed attempt to flesh out centripetal intuitions when in fact
it ended up focusing her art even more on a particular style.
Contact (Sacred Bones, 2017) breaks very little new ground.
The industrial setting comes and goes, as do the sado-masochistic overtones.
Pharmakon is taking more chances, which is sometimes a welcome relief from her
Her vocals acquire a sensual languor in
Nakedness of Need (6:18)
amid a volley of electrical discharges, alternating pain and pleasure, until an ear-splitting drilling noise terminates her agony.
No Natural Order (6:50) boasts a more chaotic noisescape than usual, raging around ugly snoring/farting pulsations.
The relatively placid Sleepwalking Form (7:34), on the other hand, is
The relentless growling feedback of the four-minute instrumental
Somatic seems like a preview of the album's standout:
a hysterically pulsing Transmission that sounds like a hypersonic remix of Suicide's psychobilly.
The mini-album Devour (2019) contains the distorted psychotic vertigo of
slow, sinister, horror vision of the seven-minute Spit It Out that evoked an electrocuted Diamanda Galas,
the witchy-industrial torture of Self-Regulating System,
the strident eight-minute alien sermon Deprivation
and the ten-minute musical self-immolation ceremony of Pristine Panic/ Cheek by Jowl that vomits disembodied vocal sounds in a pre-verbal noisescape.
Her vocabulary of extreme, grating, relentless distortion and manic atmospheres
seems to be designed to dissolve human emotions into an extra cosmic dimension of pain.