Nathan Jenkins' first public step as Bullion was a crazy-quilt suite of Beach Boys and J Dilla samples. He swiftly proved that wasn't merely about pulling clever stunts. The London-based producer progressed from wayward hip-hop beats to off-center pop songs, threading Bobby Lyle's deep ambient interlude "Inner Space" through a chunky remix of Osborne's "Afrika" one moment, then dabbling in making proper tunes replete with his endearing vocals, which carried hints of Sam Prekop and Robert Wyatt.
At the vanguard of lighter leftfield electronic is Bullion, real name Nathan Jenkins, a producer who puts an unconventional pop twist on his chirpy tunes. His singles over the last couple of years have teased fans, and now the anticipation is over as his debut, Loop The Loop, sees the light of day.The record is instantly infectious, a surprising fact given the breadth of Bullion's instrumental choices and stylistic range here. "Dip Your Foot" and "Health" find him playfully balancing the morose tone with drum pad flicks and jumpy vocal loops, while "Self Capering" bubbles along to a breezy Afrobeat rhythm.
"Rarely is the change you make from A to B / Try a different route to C," instructs Nathan Jenkins on his excellent new album as Bullion, Loop The Loop. The song, "Never Is The Change," is the most warm and unpretentious reflection on the creative process you'll hear this year. Its loose drums and squiggly synth lines are locked in an energetic but friendly tug-of-war, which Jenkins presides over like a benevolent uncle.