Almost 5 years in the making, this music is like nothing you’ve heard. Whispered words, haunting female vocals, first meditative, then driving guitar and percussion…each piece is composed live in real time, then blended for a landing.
With influences from spoken word, post rock and trance, Pharmakon MTL is a voice music improv project. It’s music that takes you on a journey, and its closest analogue might be magic mushrooms or mescal buttons—substances humans use for exploration and cathartic release.
The ingredients used are endlessly melodic arpeggios by electric guitarist Kris Mah, percussion and kinetic tension by long-time collaborator and drummer Doug Stein; whispered and spoken narrative and verse vocals by poet/musician Ian Ferrier; sung improv vocals by Metis poet and singer Moe Clark— Add bass, soundscape and mix by Jon Stein and the vocals of Valerie Khayat and you have the collective..
Each of these is thrown into the mix, and the result is a free exploration of a musical landscape bound to an intensely cinematic whispered and spoken voice. The percussion and guitar define the range and speed of the exploration, and give us the landscape and the feel. The voice says what will happen and is happening, and sung vocals tell us in detail how human it is to react and to feel.
cinematic kinetic melodic percussive evocative