Articulation grabs me at its outset by forcibly stuffing edge-of-noise textures, a loungey tone, and just a touch of trip-hop into one piece. So as I settle in for more of that, it naturally switches gears and becomes a thing reminiscent of 90s downtempo (complete with that thing we used to dig where the sound gets smothered for a few beats like it needed to be suffocated). Beat Still Noise Us is drummer and electronic musician Sébastien Tillous and Articulation is his nine-track offering of catchy, trippy vignettes. Sounding just slightly aged in places (the smother thing, for example) it’s otherwise a fun listen. Tillous’ drumming keeps things sharp and in the pocket between jazzy and smooth downtempo. There’s a surprise or two. “Revelation” ditches the drums and instead becomes a classic-sounding analog synth piece with sequencer and a floaty melodic line. “Découverte Matinale” is a daydream of a thing, warbling pads sleepily stumbling along in the company of glittering notes. It overstays its welcome just slightly, but shows again Tillous’ hand at pieces that aren’t beat-based.
I’ve enjoyed Articulation more as an album within a mix than I have listening to it straight through, but it’s one I’ll keep around. It appears this is Tillous’ first release as Beat Still Noise Us, and there’s enough going here to get me thinking I wouldn’t mind hearing more.
Available at Bandcamp.