Pharmakon - Contact
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2017 Ratings: #206 / 734
User Score
Based on 90 ratings
2017 Ratings: #637
March 31, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sacred Bones / Label
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Conceived as a series of episodes exploring the four stages of trance (preparation, onset, climax and resolution), Contact offers guided meditation to the darkest corners of the psyche, its six entries digging deep, claws out.


Though the message in all the static and clanking chains isn’t humanist, there is a humanity that comes through in everything she does. There is a spirituality too, though it’s the kind that is rooted in the material world.


Chardiet has created a rare thing here: a noise album that offers hope, rather than simply confrontation.

Drowned in Sound

This record is better placed alongside, rather than in opposition to, Chardiet’s prior two releases. It’s another excellent entry in her catalogue of searingly distressing, and physically exhausting, noise.

Resident Advisor

The album is hostile and debilitating. But playing Contact at home still falls short of experiencing Pharmakon live, despite Chardiet's efforts to transpose the energy that's exchanged between audience and performer at her shows.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Contact is aggregated purge and celebration past the self, flesh seared back and stomp soldered to somnambulism.


Each track of the new Pharmakon LP can be heard as a violent scuffle between mind and body. Even when her visceral noise achieves moments of transcendence, it still strikes you in the gut.

A.V. Club

Contact is all about transcendence, the moments when you push beyond your physical limitations. Where Bestial Burden sounds like a record that is trying to rip through one’s skin, making for a truly uncomfortable experience—that’s meant as a compliment—Contact wages war on the brain and its link to reality.

Under The Radar

Her synths and electronics create a formidable miasma, but as with previous work, her voice does much of the heavy lifting to make the music distinctive; it's an instrument whose use Chardiet continues to refine in increasingly musical, but no less terrifying, ways.

Crack Magazine

This four-part format provides strange sense of order to the listening process. It’s this use of structure that lends itself to sonic growth and complexity, which sets it apart from so many other experiments in confrontational sound.


As grim and hopeless as the album may seem, it's ultimately about escaping day-to-day reality and entering a state of transcendence. It's startling and uncomfortable, but it's highly compelling.

No Ripcord

Though not as conceptually absorbing as Bestial Burden, Contact is a no less challenging effort that seeks to find some kind of understanding from its listeners. Her bellowing screams are not meant to frighten, but to alarm you, fostering a sense of much-needed communal unity.

Consequence of Sound
The six-track full-length sees her editing her sound with a previously hidden awareness, projecting herself and her fears through visceral means, but trimming its corners so as to present a pretty package.
As much as I was anticipating Contact, it didn't do it for me as far as quality and interesting sound, unlike her other albums.
If you've heard a Pharmakon album before then you've essentially heard this too. She doesn't venture anywhere outside of what she normally brings to the table unfortunately, creating for a disappointingly predictable and surprisingly bland experience. You can see where these tracks are going from a mile away, it's clear Pharmakon is trying to make an album that's freakish and disturbing, and I guess she's succeeded, but again if you know her sound, hearing this album isn't exactly going to ... read more
I'm not going to sit here and pretend I understand this kind of music. But I will say I enjoyed it for what it was and will go back for another listen. For me, its nothing close to AOTY worthy, but I can see why someone would enjoy it

Favorite tracks: Nakedness Of Need, Sleepwalking Form
Least Favorite: Transmission, No Natural Order
Margaret Chardier's new album as Pharmakon sees the artist's incredibly visceral, ugly and haunting antics employed in a very interesting new concept. While on her previous albums Pharmakon explored the physical aspect of the human condition (with an agressive and brutal approach that matched these themes), on Contact, though, she conveys the transcendence of body and soul - as in the concept of trance itself, and employs it in the usual dark, gritty and infernal settings of her work as ... read more
☆½ ~ Deficient, unpleasant and forgettable emptiness. Not my thing.
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Added on: January 12, 2017