The album begins with "Hinge*," a piece featuring text from Iranian author and philosopher Reza Negarestani. Delivered hypnotically by vocalist Joan La Barbara over the course of 25 minutes, metaphorical imagery is used to discuss notions of nature and culture: a forest and a city are divided by a deep gorge, a nimble goat leaps between its inner walls, a river with "two streams in one" flows between them, and the sky is somehow everywhere at once. Hecker takes a fairly literal approach, running two opposing discourses in parallel—nature in the left channel and culture in the right—each touched by subtle, uncomfortable warping and distortion. The listener's brain constantly switches between the two channels and, by extension, the states described.
The text also returns in the record's third and final track. Its treatment here is described in the release notes as "the fine time structure of one voice sheathed in the amplitude envelope of another," with Hecker colliding and reshaping the voices of Sugata Bose and Anna Kohler around and through each other. The words are still audible, but tangled in a highly agitated sonic mesh.
Bridging these two pieces is the 29-minute "Modulator (… meaningless, affectless, out of nothing …)." Placed between two movements with human presence, its sprawling mixture of pokerfaced sonic events feels almost animalistic. This "meaningless, affectless" modulator is strangely charming, even cute in places, with moments of rhythm and sound design surprisingly reminiscent of club music.
Neatly folding Hecker's most recent conceptual explorations in spoken word into an unpredictable, self-referencing package, Articulação makes for a great listening experience. But what makes it particularly striking is that this could be the most colourful and laid back Hecker has ever sounded.