Too Right

“Lurid dreams, distant echoes, slow motion VHS edits – the sound of a distant memory born of recalled thoughts – textured cloaks made from the galaxies.” – Cherrystones

More from Cherrystones / Less

Music as an experience should convey and embrace realistic or imaginary emotions, moods and possibly even utopian landscapes. Achieving these states honestly and with conviction is no easy task – it certainly requires a level of magic and alchemy and Bullion does this whilst showcasing his unique structures and layering. The sounds & textures you hear on this recording are possessed of whispered sonic transmissions from imagined worldwide pirate radio stations each of which in turn are massaging their collective eclectic playlists of leftfield Disco, Krautrock, Exotica, Afro & inspired 70’s electronics – all equally fresh with their own unique identity devoid of any sell by dates xtb. Whatever or whichever – planet, universe, stratosphere or time you inhabit this will soothe & inspire as a musical elixir in its context of a reflection when the past and present collide in harmonic union. This record was made by a music lover of many styles who can identify and combine those elements with an air of sympathetic range and still have a sense of clarity and cohesion, in a world where everything is available how many could or would have the ability to cross pollinate these hybrids of hybrids?

Lurid dreams, distant echoes, slow motion VHS edits – the sound of a distant memory born of recalled thoughts – textured cloaks made from the galaxies.

A sudden pause for thought, a person never met looking familiar, a drum machine you could never afford, the sampler samples its kin now, technology teaches itself – there is no need for us – the future is now, faded pictures coming to life and hanging out of polaroids like a lizard’s tongue. Animation stands still whilst pointing its finger at you, the record is turning but who can find it online, I’ve never felt so like this or have I? The fairground is dazzling but right now the grass smells sweeter. We’ve all been in love but was it electric or moon signals, the woman casts a shadow over any doubt and reads the palm.

Looks like rain tastes like honey, the jukebox revolt – how many hear this blood on the dancefloor, sweat on the mixer? A thousand noises stitched like a tailor, worn like a guru – preaching to the mass is!

The present tense, the future relaxed, less is more more or less! Finding genius in the hidden, revealing gems within each segmenet of sound, wrong speed records at the write speed bore me, right now records at the wrong speed excite me. A million romances in a nano second, the sweet smell of excess, there are no rules and those who make them have broken them already. Each day a teardrop in time, another beard getting longer, the tv is sad feels unwanted, the laptop is smug – a vocoder announces the news that we are all free, what does it all mean, mean? The best things come to those who weight, how heavy! Truth hurts, and many a true word spoken ingested xm broker forex.

- Cherrystones

“At nine songs, 21 mins total, You Drive Me To Plastic is neither an EP nor an album, nor a beat-tape, nor a mixtape, and yet manages to touch on all of these notions at once.” – Mr Beatnick

More from Mr Beatnick / Less

For those unfamiliar with Bullion, here’s the story so far. His real name is Nathan Jenkins, a lad in his mid twenties, born and raised in West London. Three years ago he self-released a re-imagining of Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys called Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee, mastered by veteran garage don MJ Cole, and watched it become a viral sensation on the internet within days, catapulting his name around the globe. As the ensuing 8-bit, lo-fi “beat scene” began gathering pace, he was at the forefront with a gritty, bass heavy dance floor anthem called ‘Get Familiar’, released on One Handed Music, the quirky imprint owned by Stones Throw’s Alex Chase. More releases followed on the same label to critical acclaim, the best known an EP of contemporary beat-driven love songs called Young Heartache, showing that this fresh faced composer literally wears his heart on his sleeve. And with the ‘Say Goodbye To What’ 7” from earlier this year, it seemed as though he was loosening the assemblage points of his music, transposing sampled voices into new contexts, and creating a kind of modern, sun-drenched psychedelic cut’n’paste that the term “chill wave” fall several eons short of describing adequately. With the likes of Zane Lowe, Gorilla vs. Bear and Adrian Sherwood all singing his praises, and much lauded remixes of Tricky and Amadou and Miriam under his belt, the Bullion train has been gathering steam at a dizzying pace. Small wonder then, that the latest effort You Drive Me To Plastic is brought to us by Young Turks Records, the ultra-hip home of mercury prize winners the xx, as well as Holy Fuck, Sbtrkt and many more.

At nine songs, 21 mins total, You Drive Me To Plastic is neither an EP nor an album, nor a beat-tape, nor a mixtape, and yet manages to touch on all of these notions at once. On first listen, it’s immediately striking how diverse the range of material is, and how many ideas are crammed into a short space of time, as though Bullion is taking us through a whistle-stop tour of his record collection at warp speed. If these are supposed to be “beats” they are devoid of the played-out signifiers – no looped breaks, no wobbly basslines, no squiggly 8 bit chirps – but the language of composition is entirely rooted in the hip-hop tradition. What is remarkable about this record is the ease with which Bullion draws disparate elements together, fusing them into a harmonious ensemble. Exotic percussion, jangling guitar lines and library grooves are married with hard-edged 80s retro-funk, plodding nu-wave synthesisers and krautrock drones, and though these all make for unlikely bedfellows, here they tessellate perfectly as if made to match.

The detailed intricacy and speed at which this record unfolds can feel jarring at first but rewards with repeat listens – the only comparison I can find is with the prog-hop of his One Handed peer Paul White, whose music is also built on restructuring found sounds into new shapes. But whereas Paul’s music skips onwards with a hip-hop swagger, a whip-crack snare and a neck-breaking swing, Bullion rejects any kind of rhythmic convention, opting for awkward, faster tempos, odd time signatures, afro-beat patterns, and beatless, dreamy interludes. It feels like he shares Paul’s quintessentially English sense of humour, as demonstrated by the audio jokes that pop up intermittently – the stoner dude who exclaims “to me, if a record can be played, it’s now”, the groupie who dreams of romance at ‘My Castle In England’, the horses that whiney on ‘Spirit Mighty’ and the Pythonesque intro ‘Wrong Door’, in which footsteps run from speaker to speaker, opening doors that contain the spectres of past Bullion releases.

Speaking of spectres, it is the faintly glowing ghosts of yesteryear that unite all the songs of this record. Though Nathan hasn’t drawn for the Brian Wilson box-set in years, it feels as though the reverb-drenched sunshine vocals of the Beach Boys have a lot to answer for in his sound. The voices whisper, chant, and float through the music, part acid flashback, part new age hymn, their words twisted beyond all comprehension, yet clearly communicating a heady, intoxicating dreaminess. As the deep dubby swirls of ‘Lol Express’ fade into the angular ooohs and ahhhs of ‘Too Right’, followed by the gregorian chants of ‘Spirit Mighty’, it seems like this producer is having far too much fun pushing the boundaries of what he does to reign himself in. Perhaps a recent tour in Africa has paid dividends on informing the Bill Laswell meets hi-life atmosphere throughout. There is definitely a global outlook, or “world music” feel to his latest work.

It’s hard to visualise exactly who the fanbase for this record will be. My guess is that the Italo funk of ‘Pressure To Dance’, the most instantly accessible track, will find as much favour in the record boxes of Mancuso disciples and bearded balearic warriors as it will on the dance floors of Dalston’s numerous basement clubs. Equally the blunted hip-hop head-nod crew will most definitely find something to pack their bowl to here. Overall, this is a mature and sophisticated record that will delight crate diggers of all ages, especially those searching for something with one foot in the past and one foot in the sound of tomorrow. A work of beguiling beauty, and an endearingly quirky listen, You Drive Me To Plastic is arguably his finest and most original work to date. If he can find it in himself to deliver a full length of this quality, then the future is golden.

- Mr Beatnick