Winter Sleep – Dreams

Recommendation: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Winter Sleep is a project of James Webster – also known as HCMJ and as a member of death’s dynamic shroud.wmv. Dreams is the project’s debut full-length. It was originally released in December 2012 through Ghost Diamond exclusively as a digital download; it saw a cassette reissue in March 2016 through (fittingly enough) Dream Catalogue. It came out a few weeks after Archipelago 3.0 by Peach & Plum, another side project of a member of death’s dynamic shroud.wmv. Coincidence? Probably, seeing as how all of the Ghost Diamond dudes frequently collaborate and inform each others’ projects.

The digitally-rendered album artwork of a bedroom or entertainment room gives a good impression of what to expect from Dreams. This is a super hi-fi release that incorporates MIDI music and digital instruments that are made to sound and appear digital, imparting a bit of a hyper-realism into the fray. Tracks are generally upbeat with major key melodies, almost video gamey in atmosphere. “Dread Nightmare” breaks that flow a bit with some spooky-sounding electronic effects and heightened reverb, which fits its title well. However, the super hi-fi aesthetic of the whole album frequently sounds sterile, taking away quite a bit of the music’s punch and stretching its length into something that feels far longer than forty-two minutes. Whether the listening appeal is lost in the hospital-sterile atmosphere will be up to the individual listener.



1. Winter Sleep -Logo- – (0:14)
2. Night in Dream City – (4:03)
3. Small Dream – (6:20)
4. Ice Cream Mountains – (3:38)
5. The Possibility – (4:39)
6. Forest Fountains – (6:17)
7. We’re Sleeping – (2:45)
8. Dread Nightmare – (4:30)
9. Twilit Dawn – (4:55)
10. Continue the Dream – (5:07)



  • Tom

    Woah, Hold on. I consider this one of the great works to come out of the Vaporwave scene. And being reissued by Dream Catalogue I think supports my view. It is somewhere between Virtual Utopia and a Super Nintendo era soundtrack. This is a beautiful melodic piece that is worth listening to and very addictive.

    • Sunbleach

      I welcome different opinions! I found that this release edged just too hard on the hyper-realist aspect and ended up losing itself in the sterility. That’s partially why I said it’ll basically be up to the listener – for me, I didn’t get anything from it, but I recognize that some people find this to be one of their favorite albums.

  • Tom

    And I would put it in the same class as your 3 sun reviews.


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