Argyre Planitia – Tenth Region of the Night (2020; Winter-Light)
Tenth Region of the Night is a set of deep-space drones and textures from German artist Stefan Voß. This, his third album, is equally influenced by the Berlin School and more recent dark ambient efforts. The tracks give off a bassy rumble as waves of synth structures rise and fall. The pacing is unhurried with judicious use of percussion and effects. For instance, Delta Waves exudes distant drum-like patterns and nearby bells that combine with drones for an ominous feel. Other tracks include crackling organic sounds to accompany the pulsing, simultaneously evoking the presence of living organisms as well as a vast emptiness.
Demonologists – Dissociative Themes (2020; 4iB Records)
In contrast, Demonologists is a US-based duo that explores more terrestrial themes of psychological horror. As much noise and post-industrial as it is ambient, Dissociative Themes employs sculpted noise walls, electronics, and deliberate beats to accompany spoken-word elements (in which themes of murder are prevalent). These pieces are experimental, twisted, and disturbing. With Halloween around the corner, Demonologists provides appropriately-timed grist of nightmares across ten ear-bending tracks.