Ventriloquist first came to prominence on 2005's 'Towards Nova Zembla'; a fine, seamless compilation of artists on the fledgling Soundeasy label. Ventriloquist AKA Chris Redmond was one of the most impressive contributors thanks to his poetry allied with hip-hop and jazz influences. 'This Rain' is his first release since then and bodes very well for an expected album.
'This Rain' follows on from the 'Towards Nova Zembla' route of jazzy textures and beats, not dissimilar to the quieter tracks from the first two Massive Attack albums. Although the tune itself veers towards the incidental, it's undeniably classy. 'Old Bones' has its groundings in jazz too but the key melody is provided by a gentle acoustic guitar motif. The song is a step up though both in terms of its astute lyrics and some increasingly menacing atmospheric layers. Then it's left to a live tribute to James Brown to round the set off. On this tongue-in cheek track, Redmond proves that not only is he a great storyteller but also a genuinely witty man; quite the raconteur, if you will. Three tracks doesn't really seem enough but at least it makes the anticipation greater for the long player.