Llyn Y Cwn conveys atmosphere and environment through deep ambient sounds. The sound of nature re-establishing itself in the post-industrial wilderness of a former quarry. A phantasm of echoes reflecting the bleak majesty and poetic melancholy of the hinterland of North Wales. A hole within a void, a place defined by absence in a world of negative space.
The backdrop for this cavernous soundtrack is Dinorwic slate quarry. The field recordings were taken in this vast subterranean environment where an exposed scar of rock is carved out of the mountainside on the western slope of Elidir Fawr in Snowdonia, North Wales.
Standing alone in the quarry, which covers 700 acres up to a height of 600m, it isn't difficult to imagine work going on around you with the abandoned industrial landscape juxtaposed against the backdrop of the majestic Snowdonia skyline.
Each track is named after an area of the quarry, descending ever deeper through each rock gallery, with their acoustically unique echoes and sounds. The landscape is in a state of constant flux with small avalanches of rock and spoil slate tumbling over itself - it was such a landslide that led to the eventual demise of the quarry. The hydroelectric power station, built deep underground inside the mountain, can be heard rumbling away through the various air shafts dotted around the quarry, adding to the overall ominous feel of the pieces.
File next to fellow Welshman Lustmord.
Presented in a 6-panel digipak with breathtaking photography by the artist.
released July 10, 2020
Music and Photography: Benjamin Ian Powell
Mastering: Martin Bowes (The Cage Studios)
Layout: Abby Helasdottir
***Essential Welsh Albums (Clash Magazine)
"Looking at the cover of Llyn Y Cwn’s album ‘Dinorwic’ everything you need to know about the album is hiding in plain sight... ‘Dinorwic’ is filled with slow-moving textures and tones. Some epic, others subtle, but always moving. Each track is named after a different part of the quarry and touches on themes of industrial, and cultural, desolation. Which, sadly, Wales has always known. You can still see the scars of across the Welsh landscape. Like Dinorwic. The album speaks about how history shapes the present, about how its effects can still be felt today. This album is as powerful, and tender, as any other album on this list. It discusses feelings of national pride and identity and what happens after industry goes" (Clash Magazine).
"...an exercise in slow-moving textures and tones. Inspired by a slate quarry of the same name, where the field recordings were taken, "Dinorwic" sounds as bleak as a real place.... [it] really hammers home the feeling of desolation... atmospheric sounds, a just perceptible haunting melody lies just below the surface, and a vast feeling of emptiness. Its aim isn't to shock you with severe walls of noise or entertain you with captivating melodies. It delivers something between the two, that works far better than if it had bludgeoned you with a visceral attack... filled with swaths of evocative synths... it gives the album a sense of movement and flux. This is all underpinned by delicate melodies that wash over you with glacial slowness. Here is the true power, and beauty, of the album... Slow-moving monoliths grinding their way through your psyche until you have been totally altered by them... they have the power to excite whilst keeping you on the edge of your seat, like a slow-moving Nordic Noir." (Vital Weekly)
"...another strong atmospheric album... Benjamin Ian Powell (who is Llyn Y Cwn) captured his field recordings in this environment, then presumably blended them with ambient drones in the studio to create this very specific form of sound art; the intention is mainly to convey the grandeur of the landscape, as he did when we last heard him on Twll Du. However, certain echoes of the industrial past do make their way into the fabric of the piece... air, wind, and light are somehow “audible” in the work, and it’s not simply a thickened digital morass of moody droning. To the two main elements, field recordings and (very subtle) ambient drone, must be added a third: the photographs on the cover... They almost seem to be etched in slate themselves – hard edges, deep blacks. If the photos represent a long-exposure “deep stare” at the site, then the record represents that same stare expressed in aural form" (The Sound Projector)
"...the sounds of nature are the stars of the show. Howling wind, tumbling rocks, gentle rainfall, moving water and occasionally the sounds of the hydroelectric generator running are what make up most of Dinorwic, but everything comes together to create a cinematic soundscape, one in equal parts disquieting and peaceful. When I put on Dinorwic, I am filled with a profound sense of wanderlust... Listening to Dinorwic leaves me with such a powerful feeling of being right smack in the middle of Northern Wales... Dinorwic is beautifully crafted and recorded, with a stunning amount of fine detail to pick out if you really want to listen for it, and enough atmosphere to drown everything out and wash your senses away if that’s what you’re into... Dinorwic really celebrates the land that it comes from by putting it first and foremost, and I like that the best about it" (Nine Circles)
"You get the feeling of becoming a little piece of this nature and its grandeur. But the sound atmospheres are still frightening, hiding some haunting passages.... It’s important to seize the impact of this nature and places, which directly inspired the artist. His music feels like being composed for a reign of darkness. It feels like an abyssal sensation, which says something about the visual strength of the album. Overwhelming sound waves often characterized by buzzing noises are leading the listener into a perpetual state of stupor. “Braich” is the absolute masterpiece of this sonic exploration. The strength of nature is impressive. This sensation has been masterly transposed into a sonic experience, which will give you goosebumps." (8/10, Side-Line)
"...sonically the project is concerned with the ultra-minimal isolationist ambience end of the genre spectrum. Evidently, the material is based around nature-based field recordings made at various locations within the decommissioned Dinorwic slate quarry which are then blended with minimalist shifting synth textures. As such a brooding windswept / rainswept mood prevails, alongside deeply echoed resonances of tumbling stones, distant rolling thunder etc. These naturally derived sound textures and coupled with monumentally thick bass tones and elongated synth lines which move so slowly as to articulate melodious drones rather than a recognisable melody. Yet the overall atmosphere is one of deep calm, rather than the more typical mood of lurking dread, thus make for meditative and contemplated listening... exceptionally well done and consequently, Dinorwic is an album which has received many repeat listens." (Noise Receptor)
"This post-industrial (not as in the genre, but as in after an area has been industrialized by companies reaping it's benefits) meditation focuses around a quarry and the nature that seeks to reclaim it. The Dinorwic state quarry is where the field recordings were taken; the subterranean environments perfectly suit an ambient atmosphere." (Brutal Resonance)
"Este genial compositor de música ambiental oscura es conocido por desarrollar planteamientos sonoros partiendo de grabaciones de campo registradas en lugares inhóspitos localizados en Gales... Powell no ha abandonado su esquema creativo, sino que ha decidido ampliarlo, desarrollando nuevos enfoques basados en registros acústicos que son capturados en zonas dominadas por los paisajes puramente naturales o, en su defecto, con escasa incidencia antrópica... Dinorwic llama la atención por su gran equilibrio acústico y su sólida producción... Un álbum que no tiene nada que envidiar a muchos de los trabajos del gran padre de este género, Lustmord, tanto en forma como en contenido... increíble disco." (5/5, NOmedlody)
"cada uno de los siete temas que vertebran este extraordinario trabajo musical tiene por título el nombre de un área de esta cantera, proyectándose en clave musical dark-ambient la esencia energética y emocional que esta herida orográfica de la era industrial ha provocado en el entorno, transformado en un escenario post-industrial que transmite un vacío existencial profundamente nihilista... Benjamin Ian Powell, alma máter de Llyn Y Cwn (en galés “Lago de los Perros”, inspirado en el lago homónimo situado en el norte de Gales), ha vuelto a dar forma sonora a otra obra maestra cuyo disfrute repetirán a lo largo de los próximos años y décadas... Imágenes y temas musicales en clave dark-ambient que forman un conjunto armoniosamente integrado en este nuevo álbum... “Dinorwic”, nueva obra maestra firmada por el genial artista galés Benjamin Ian Powell, y nueva joya discográfica que engrandece aún más el prestigioso aura cultural atesorado por el sello Cold Spring Records. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!!" (Lux Atenea)
"Dinorwic, qui paraît chez Cold Spring, témoigne de la volonté du protagoniste principal de capter l’atmosphère d’un lieu.... Éternels bruits de la nature : ceux qui nous survivent à travers les ruines, tels que, dixit Powell, "se rétablissant dans la nature sauvage post-industrielle." Nature abandonnée à elle-même, crevassée par nos besoins et désirs. Les hommes ont puisé la ressource... cette bande-son ô combien suggestive requiert de vraies conditions d’écoute : hi-fi et isolement recommandés pour immersion maximale... C’est une œuvre cinématographique, abyssale, et Powell creuse le son comme il a creusé le lieu... Glissement, craquements, grondements. La couleur est fatalement sombre, quand perceront çà et là quelques rayons de lumière, caressant ces paysages minéraux emmitouflés dans le brouillard et le vent." (Obsküre)
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supported by 11 fans who also own “Dinorwic (CSR286CD)”
This is intense as Polar-Ambient can get!
When you close your eyes while listening to this you will feel like freezing to death in this cold,neverending dark and at the same time beautiful,fascinating place and you will love it! TakemySoul