Tabs Out | Winter Sleep – Return to Dream City

Winter Sleep – Return to Dream City

7.19.19 by Ryan Masteller

To quote the runaway television hit “Game of Thrones,” “Winter is getting closer.” And by “winter” I of course mean “Winter Sleep,” a fresh-faced Philadelphian named James Webster, who took his moniker from the hibernative qualities of the castle of Winterfield nestled snugly in the north of Westeria beneath the shadow of the mighty Ice-Formed Wall. It’s not for nothing that “Game of Thrones” garnered all those Emmy noms for their final season – the ultimate events of said series were universally showered in acclaim.

So Webster rides the wave of popularity and releases music with a tenuous connection to the show.* Like the Three-Eyed Blackbird, he peers into multiple aspects of human life, documenting what he sees from that dreamlike perspective and envisioning vast multidimensional composites, of which he focuses on minute details in order to explicate their intricacies, absurdities, and sheer banalities. In other words, Webster makes music about what he sees when he wargs through his dreams. And what he sees is both strikingly human and equilibrium-shiftingly odd.

Thus Dream City, and its “Return to” so hauntingly alluded to in the title. Wordlessly, Webster gathers his tools – I dunno, synthesizer? Sampler? – and dives into future nu-scapes only glimpsed through the fog of slumber, the haze of unconscious vibrations. Dream City is a place that’s easy to imagine if you’ve ever caught yourself in a self-aware moment within a dream, the impossibly familiar surroundings suddenly seeming to expand endlessly in a labyrinth of avenues and passageways. All is crystal and liquid metal and smooth pastel. It’s as reassuringly benign as it is brimming with adventure. Truly Webster has crafted a visionary mindspace where future, present, and past combine, and distance and meaning are relative and unstable.

The question really is, can Webster see the Dead Ice Emperor in these extrasensory warg travels of his? 

… How should I know – do I look like Steve R. R. Martin to you?

“Return to Dream City” came out at the tail end of 2018 on Ghost Diamond, but you can still head there for a fresh copy if you so choose! (And you should so choose; honestly, you should also just grab whatever they have in print.)

*He doesn’t really have anything to do with GOT – I’m just jerking your chain.

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