It's unfortunate that many listeners are unfamiliar with Ventricle, a small Seattle-based label devoted to the female voice.
Mistress ofStrands, Ventricle's newest project, is an excellent introduction thatwill hopefully serve to lure in the attention the label deserves. Thisrelease belongs to Ventricle's "silver series," which features CDspackaged with beautifully crafted metallic sleeves. Musically, Mistressof Strands resides in uncharted territory between "ethereal" and"ambient", but can be limited to neither. Group members Tali Braun,Dusty Lee, and Dana Devereaux create atmospheric collages ofcrystalline strings; eerie, yet alluring vocals; and lush, dreamydrones. As with other Ventricle sirens, Tali's haunting voicecompliments rather than dominates its surrounding layers of sound, andthe singer exhibits her versatility by ranging from infinitely delicateechoes to spoken word to outright melody. Dusty's deluge of psychedelicnoise on the mellotron is equally enchanting, and the gauzy distortionleaves the listener pleasantly suspended in a state somewhere betweenwaking and dreaming.