Bullion has been around for some time, so it seems a bit odd that this is technically his debut album. He’s certainly not a club-oriented producer who’s been focused on throwing out 12”s. In fact, Bullion seems to be moving ever further from that formula and away from the beatmaker bracket as a whole. ‘Loop The Loop’ is the full realisation of Bullion’s fascination with “experimental pop musicians from the 1970s and ‘80s like Can's Holger Czukay... Devo, and Thomas Dolby”.
These elements of quirky pop have always been there, even way back on 2007’s ‘Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee’; a record which simultaneously pays homage to Dilla and The Beach Boys. However, this was also a futuristic record with ‘beats’ and “samples. It could have qualified as a debut album but was never officially released on a label. 2011’s ‘You Drive Me To Plastic’ saw Bullion embracing a much more organic, old school sound pallet but still revolved around samples and instrumentals. Even though this record was technically one continuous track, it could also have qualified as debut album but Bullion instead labelled it a ‘Non LP’.
‘Loop The Loop’, in contrast, revolves around live instrumentation and singing. It is a fully fledged pop record with catchy singles like ‘Never Is The Change’ and the super addictive title track backed by SBTRKT collaborator Sampha. Bullion’s production maintains that warm, analogue feel that is still full of impact and clarity giving it an almost timeless quality. His arrangements draw on ‘70s and ‘80s influences but still manage to sound fresh and current.
Humorous lines like Health’s “I keep coming back to the same old thing, someone’s home when I’m trying to sing” point to Bullion not being fully at home as a singer-songwriter but his efforts come off pretty well on the whole. While ‘Loop The Loop’ isn’t a retro record, neither is it futuristic; it’s not a singer-songwriter album, nor is it an electronic beats record. One thing it does qualify as though, is a hugely enjoyable debut album.
Words: Jack Dolan
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