Pharmakon and Vår LPs from Sacred Bones
First is the debut (sort of) LP from NYC's Margaret Chardiet, also known as Pharmakon. She's been making power electronics and noise for about 5 years, and after a handful of well-received CDrs and cassettes on smaller labels, this is her first studio album and first work that will see wider distribution. The mainstream press has even been doing their due diligence in looking into Pharmakon - I think NPR even did a short piece on her - and it's good to see someone who has worked so hard having some degree of success, on her town terms. The LP contains 4 songs - about 27 minutes worth of new material that is all wonderfully brilliant. Evocative atmospheres over well-crafted, textured noise collages (which often include her scathing vocals) that never become overly harsh or overwhelming. The songs - and these are actual songs - are downbeat, somewhat dramatic, and absolutely satisfying in every way. It's tough to be emotionally moved by noise music sometimes, but this record does the trick, and it's more magnificent every time I hear it. I can't gush enough about how good this record is. If you're going to buy one noise record this year, this should probably be it. You might even consider getting the limited edition of this, which comes with a cassette with another 27 minutes of killer music.
Both of these records should be shipping now from Sacred Bones.