Bullion: sonic brilliance from LondonLugemisaeg 4 min
Nathan Jenkins alias Bullion is a young man from London whose musical territory consists of hip hop, 80s synthpop, chillwave, krautrock and other genres that we could go on with for a few more lines. He juggles with weird samples, builds smooth hang out anthems and flawlessly mixes together J Dilla and Beach Boys.
You are known for using many interesting samples in your music, especially on the record “You Drive Me To Plastic” where we can hear bagpipes and a monologue by a groupie, among others. How do you choose these samples that you use in the first place? Do they have some special purpose for you, for example to create images or feelings beyond music?
Feelings beyond music is a good way of putting it. Combining sounds or music that haven’t been put together before to create something odd or striking. It is endless, you can go on and on with different combinations, harmonic accidents start to happen, or it just sounds horrible – as a producer that keeps me coming back, although I don’t sample so often any more.
How did you get into making music in the first place?
It would be too boring to say!
You have taken a turn towards 80s synthpop with “Love Me Oh Please Love Me”. How did you end up creating this kind of sound and is 80s synthpop more of a recent discovery for you?
A vast amount of interesting music was made in the early 80s. That home recordings stuff. It is not really a far cry from how people make music now – at home, with whatever they can afford, singing and playing everything in stages, privately. I do happen to rate the sound of a lot of the drum machines that came out then, the warm aesthetic of the recording and production, chorused guitars, heavily affected vocals, humorous nods and winks!
Can you name any of the artists that have somehow initiated you to take up this more melodic 80s vibe?
One of my favourites out of that world is a German called J.A.R. – all on cassette.
How much personal experience do you put in your music now that you are doing more singing and have to right lyrics as well?
It is all personal. Unless you are just copying something someone else said word for word then it is bound to be personal.
Do you feel yourself comfortable with all this being a sort of a poet in addition to sampling, making beats and basically being best friends with your computer?
A poet??! Kind of you to say, but no I am not comfortable to think of myself like that!
You also have your own record label called DEEK. What made you start this?
Well, initially, the plan wasn’t for it to be a label for different artists, more just to release my own music. But since producing and writing more with others it has naturally taken a different turn, and I am very happy about that! We have just released “Thinking About Thinking” by Laura Groves with additional production and mixing from me.
You released your first LP with Blludd Relations this summer and you also have a side project named Nautic together with Laura Groves and Tic. What are these bands up to now?
Jesse (from Blludd Relations) and I always have something we are working on together and there is plenty that we didn’t put on the album that may lead to another record of some sort. As Nautic, we’ve finished a new EP that will come out early next year. Nautic as a live band are playing various shows in the UK at the moment too.
When can we hear new material from Bullion?
We have a compilation of covers out on DEEK next month and there is one by me on there. Beyond that, my album is out next year.
Any weird playing experiences?
I put on a James Brown record once and someone came over to ask if I had “any music we can dance to?”
Also go check www.deekrecordings.co.uk