Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ventricle - Dryft


n5MD Records.

SCQ Rating: 82%

2010 saw its share of electronic records that spent their running-times basked in menacing darkness; some defiantly sinister in their shadowy make-up (Crystal Castles' II), others bending toward distant refractions of light (The Sight Below’s It All Falls Apart). Ventricle staked its own territory not only as kind of a big deal – resurrecting Mike Cadoo’s thought to be one-off, decades-old Dryft project – but also by crafting the year’s darkest song-cycle that never dragged.

For all of Ventricle’s patient soundscapes tailored to industrial edges, one would be forgiven for assuming Dryft’s careful escalations on this template – which build toward stormy climax – would only intensify his nuanced foreboding. The bulk of these nine songs do intensify but not as a means of hammering home a gloom already established. Instead a purposeful optimism arises, undetected until Cadoo raises a track’s dramatic stakes, which subverts the overcast of ‘Recalcify’ and ‘No Bargains, No Pleas’ with an airy serenity. Laced throughout Ventricle’s stealthy genetic code, these unfastened synths play in pools of filtered light across ‘(Re)prise’ and before ‘Vapours and Waste’ develops its crunchy backbone. If Dryft’s delicate end lacks the aural presence of his thunderous beats, it’s to purposefully offset how visceral Ventricle can feel, to maintain that subtle playfulness with shade.

Delivering more than ample contrast – something that most records of this palette seem deficient in – Cadoo’s symphonic capabilities prove equally valuable when buried and left for dead. The industrial wave of ‘Knives As Gifts’ arrives pushing for a metropolitan collapse, armed with oppressive synth-slabs and thick glitches that seek to eradicate any compositional frailty. Luckily, a storm can’t swallow its aftermath and Ventricle deserves recognition for balancing two fateful environments: brute strength and intricacy, claustrophobia and the sweeping openness which follows.

No Bargain, No Plea (Featuring Xiescive) by dryft

No comments: