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Track of the Day: Pharmakon – Bestial Burden

Margaret Chardiet records under the name Pharmakon and has been building a steady reputation for creating ravaged and depraved noise pieces that play on the decaying sounds of both her voice and the drone-y synths she uses to sinister effect. The inspiration for her latest album was a near death experience Chardiet had that required her to undergo major emergency surgery. The title track itself addresses the theme directly: the human body as a wilting bestial burden.

One of the most minimal tracks Chardiet has ever produced, it drones around the lowest ebbs of the human experience as she recalls looking for her shadow – a reference to the body-mind dualism and consciousness itself. As her voice sounds increasingly pained and strained, she howls the words, “I don’t belong here! I don’t belong here!” punctuated by a particularly ominous gallows laugh, which morphs into a truly frightening and guttural scream. But with Chardiet’s world seemingly collapsing in on her in the last two minutes of process distortion, it is clear that she has never made a losing battle sound so beautifully defiant.

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