Clash (magazine) - "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."
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. From 12" to 12", his categorically evasive instrumentals and unorthodox pop songs attained more definition and individuality and at the same time turned more collaborative. The "post-Dilla" tag was shed as his output became more prone to comparisons to that of studio boffins like Bill Nelson and Thomas Dolby, or any member of Yellow Magic Orchestra -- artists narrowly classified as synth pop. Loop the Loop, Jenkins' first true album, is the culmination of short-form releases for labels like One-Handed, Young Turks, and R&S. Issued on his own Deek Recordings, it's a resolutely lively and slightly dazed exploration of misshapen pop forms. Like the best of what preceded it, the album wasn't made by Jenkins alone. The glinting title track is elevated by background vocals from Sampha and a liquid line from saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. Jessie Hackett (keyboards), Tic Zogson, and Laura Groves, his partners in secondary outlets Blludd Relations and Nautic, appear throughout, with the latter showcased in the lapping mutant house track "It's No Spirit" like an apparition of Olivia Newton-John. Jenkins seems to push all the right buttons, even when he does something otherwise unthinkable for 2016, such as craft a gauzy, pulsating groove that supports a saxophone -- that of Dario Rossetti-Bonell -- as the lead instrument. Going by the seemingly happenstance way everything else is presented, it's not likely that Jenkins and his mates were plotting to come up with a cover of an imagined Flesh + Blood-era Roxy Music B-side. It just came out that way. That and all else here, "written, recorded, blah blah blah by Nathan Jenkins," as printed in the sleeve with credit-deflecting nonchalance, is delightful. ~ Andy Kellman