AMN Reviews: Llyn Y Cwn – Dinorwic (2020; Cold Spring Records)

Llyn Y Cwn is the moniker of Welsh dark ambient purveyor Benjamin Ian Powell. Dinorwic takes its title from a slate quarry in which Powell made field recordings. These serve as the basis of an airy set of ominous drones constructed from processed sounds and subtle synth waves. Deep rumbling accompanies these atmospherics, with static, crackling, and micro-tectonics of the landscape shifting.

If nothing else, the album represents an understated exploration of human impact on the environment. Though the layers on Dinorwic are ultimately windswept and based on natural acoustics, the echoes of dead machinery linger at the edge of perception. Thus, what is heard are not sui generis sounds of the Earth.  These sounds are earthy but exist due to human intervention.

While the approach on Dinorwic does not vary dramatically from that of Llyn Y Cwn’s previous release, Twll Du, fans of that album – or those of Powell’s countryman Lustmord, will find much to like here.

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