Miranda Sex Garden is the ultimate. ;-)
They are easily among my all time favorite bands. They have a sound that is just indescribable. It's like instrumental poetry, with lyrical accompaniment. (Or Madra, just the beautiful sweet voices of a troupe of girls.)
I have all of them, save for their new one, Carnival of Souls, which I'll prolly order soon.
I still remember the first time I ever heard them. It was in 1993. I was on a local area computer BBS that a friend of mine introduced me to. It was a rather exclusive BBS, called Miranda's Cafe. It had some really cool people there, and a the guy who ran it, his handle was Shidoshi, was a fan of Miranda Sex Garden. He told me to get some of their stuff, so I gave it a shot. That week, I picked up both Madra and Iris. A few months later, Suspiria was released, and I bought that immediately too. I couldn't the sound that they produced, or the way it just flows through you. When Fairytales of Slavery came out, I grabbed that immediately, too.
There is a very definite progression through the albums, as they go from three girls singing 17th century madrigals a cappella to a full fledged instrumental band playing some sort of instrumentally oriented gothic industrial ambient alternative 'music'. ;-)
This makes me even more eager to hear how their new album is gonna sound. Anyone who hasn't listened to them before, you really should. I'll see if I can get some MP3's made up for them when I get a chance, or you can prolly find some on Napster. You will not regret it.