FADER Mix: Pharmakon

44 minutes of gnarled noise from the New York-based artist.

November 18, 2014

Margaret Chardiet, the New York artist who recently released her second full-length as Pharmakon, loves ugly sounds. When speaking with Emilie Friedlander for her GEN F profile last year, Chardiet explained: "The times when the voice cracks and you can hear vocal cords being stressed or broken are as important to me as the rest." Her new record, Bestial Burden, which explores themes related to the human body and Chardiet's own near-death experience, pushes those gnarled, eardrum-rupturing noises in fresh, experimental—and often affecting—directions. She filled her FADER Mix with similarly bleak sounds from the contemporary industrial music landscape, work she says she "appreciates and admires," including Posh Isolation solo artist Puce Mary, digital NYC punks L.O.T.I.O.N, and more. Download the 44-minute mix below and read a quick interview with Pharmakon about what's on the mix, her ominous live shows, and 18th century pulp lit.

Where are you right now? I am sitting in a red room, on a red bed, wearing a red robe, and biting red fingernails.

What vibe were you going for on your mix? I wanted to make a mix consisting entirely of current, active Industrial/noise projects whose work I appreciate and admire—the sound of the present Industrial underground. It is far from complete, but it is concise. Industrial is a term impossible to define, often leaving listeners to subscribe to Potter Stewart's method concerning hardcore pornography: "I know it when I see it". But it lives here, in 2014—from the heat-seeking, sexual pulses of Damien Dubrovnik, to the crafted, militaristic urgency of Negation, to the foreboding, driving beats of Shane English, or the frenetic, electronic punk of L.O.T.I.O.N.— the limits of this language are being redefined, and these are some the people doing it.

Does performing your work live change your relationship with it? The songs are composed to be played live first. This injects them with the tension of the possibility of failure, and the rawness of the energy feedback loop between performer and audience. It's the process of recording them that changes my relationship with them, usually expanding the instrumentation and bringing that back into the live set afterwards.

What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you? The Monk by Matthew Lewis. It's essentially a very pulp book about sex, murder, scandal, and the supernatural—but written in the most beautiful and eloquent language, by a 19-year-old in 1796. It does not follow the rules about linear plot or following a single character, but rather slyly ties the various plots and characters all together in the most absurdist and satisfying ways.

Track list:

Ligature - "Mirror Image"
Damien Dubrovnik - "Penis Corset"
Negation - "Body/Idea"
Puce Mary - "Pigs"
S. English - "Invasion Threat"
L.O.T.I.O.N. - "Militarized Urban Zone"
Liebestod - "For The First Time I Look Vulgar"
Nick Klein - "Guy Combo"
Public Health - "American Interest"
Shredded Nerve - "Mind Begins To Crumble As Dots Are Connected"

Catch Pharmakon's album release show is this Saturday, November 22nd, at Palisades in Brooklyn.

FADER Mix: Pharmakon