AMN Reviews: Væv – Drømmenes Spejl (2021; Winter-Light); Ajna & Onasander – Canidia (2021; Winter-Light)

Winter-Light is a dark ambient label from the Netherlands that is slowly building up a strong catalog in that and related styles. Below are a few words on its two most recent releases.

Drømmenes Spejl from Denmark’s Væv is a solid entry into the dark ambient space. Present are the expected drones and synth layers, as well as gently crackling electroacoustic elements. Much of this is in the form of melancholic and somber lilting of chords, though some tracks exhibit an airiness. The electroacoustics sound like pseudo-random machine noises heard from the end of a dark corridor. Add to this some slow-played guitar and piano, and you have a compelling, if not austere, mix.

Canidia is a haunting and cinematic excursion. The focus is on long background drones coupled with shifting sets of percussive noises in the foreground. The latter could be based on found objects, digital processing, or most likely some combination thereof. Regardless, there is little repetition or anything resembling a steady rhythm. Instead, the listener is taken into a cinematic soundscape in which dark winds from unknown sources blow debris through a windswept village at night. Other tracks focus on the drones, which remain claustrophobic and tense throughout. This is true horror-movie music, and quite a solid representative of that sub-genre.

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