Sometimes I fall so hard and so fast for a new artist that, when their meager output has been exhausted, I don’t know what to do. The sound is perfect, but there’s only so much of it. This is what happened with beat scientist Bullion. How do I keep up with a guy who may or may not release something in the next year, next few years? The honest answer is that enthusiasm wanes and I start to forget.
But it all comes rushing back the moment I hear there’s new material: the hunger, the excitement, the unabashed shouting from the hilltops for all to listen. This just happened again.
I wrote about this album on last week’s What I’m Into post, but it bears emphasis:
I had no idea that Bullion was back with a new full length album for weeks after its release. I’m actually really surprised that this managed to slip by me so completely. Just the other day, a friend and I were talking about how huge Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee was, what a mindblowing record it was, despite being “only” a mashup of Beach Boys and J Dilla music. That mix not only showed the chops of a great producer, but the fact that he has a seriously sharp ear for pop sensibilities.
The London producer, real name Nathan Jenkins, always remained in my heart, if not always on my radar. Still, I jumped at the chance to hear anything new. His subsequent releases, few and far between, fleshed out his talent for hooks and evolved his beat construction. But nothing felt as vibrant as that mashup until now.
Loop the Loop is a giant leap, a new introduction for Bullion. It is, incredibly, his debut full length album. At 43 minutes, it’s his longest release by far, allowing him room to stretch out and inhabit his fully revealed role as a preternatural pop sculptor in the mold of Brian Wilson. The major connective tissue is a wiry, tropical production sound that’s cut through with tangible elements like violin and Rhodes piano. Songs like Unless skate into full-on beached out bliss, arcs of sunshine splitting azure synth beds while the Beach Boys inspired vocals reverb into infinity.
I’m reminded of the ancient rush I felt listening to The Russian Futurists a decade ago. Back when I discovered that maximalist, harmony-laden pop was still being made in the weird corner bedrooms and basement apartments of the world. It felt important and huge
You can listen digitally on the Bandcamp page or on vinyl pretty much anywhere.