Pharmakon Transforms Medical Emergency into 'Bestial Burden' LP
Published Jul 30, 2014Though a major surgery temporarily sidelined Pharmakon (a.k.a. New York noise artist Margaret Chardiet), forcing her to cancel a 2013 European tour, the medical emergency led the musician to create her latest LP, Bestial Burden. Her second full-length for Sacred Bones arrives October 14.
According to a press release, the procedure left Chardiet without an unspecfied organ and bedridden for three weeks. During this time, she was shown pictures of the inside of her body taken during the surgery, a surreal situation that led her to contemplate "the idea of the conscious mind as a stranger inside an autonomous vessel, and the tension that exists between these two versions of the self."
"I became hyperaware of the complex network of systems just beneath the skin, any of which were liable to fail or falter at any time," she explained in a statement. "It all happened so fast and unexpectedly that my mind took a while to catch up to the reality of my recovery. I felt a widening divide between my physical and mental self. It was as though my body had betrayed me, acting as a separate entity from my consciousness. I thought of my corporeal body anthropomorphically, with a will or intent of its own, outside of my will's control, and seeking to sabotage."
Following her recovery, the soundscapist hit Brooklyn's Heaven Street Records with Cult of Youth's Sean Ragon, who also produced Pharmakon's 2013 LP Abandon. The six-song Bestial Burden is said to feature "deeply personal industrial noise tracks," with many of the songs recorded live off the floor. Apparently, certain vocal takes were tracked with a group of people packed into the recording studio so Chardiet "could feed off their energy."
While full song streams have yet to be unveiled, a new trailer featuring panted, panicked breathing sounds meant to recreate the moments before Chardiet had to be rushed to a hospital, can be seen down below. You'll also find the graphic, internal organ-displaying cover art up above.
Pharmakon will finally make it out to Europe later this year, opening for post-punk greats Swans. You'll find the tour details over here.
2. Intent Or Instinct
3. Body Betrays Itself
4. Primitive Struggle
6. Bestial Burden