- Nathan Jenkins seems like a fun guy. His work as Bullion—warped, sunny and often humorous—operates in a loose sphere of instrumental hip-hop, soul and beat music; this is the dude who once mashed up Pet Sounds with J Dilla. His kitchen-sink approach to sound and sampling has made him a fit for all sorts of labels, from the Paul White-associated hip-hop imprint One-Handed Music to R&S and Honest Jon's. His latest release—his first record in three years—lands on Greco-Roman, a UK label with a light-hearted approach to dance music. It's a good partnership, too, because Greco-Roman have teased out Jenkins' best record yet.
Some moments of Rooster are so silly that they almost sound deranged. It's hard not to smile during the ridiculous "Saysah!"—a kitschy Far Eastern synth line wiggles around exaggerated synths and bursts of glitter, every new element adding another level of delirium. Such a relentlessly carefree nature could wear down even the coldest heart.
This is Rooster's modus operandi, but Jenkins' talent isn't just in making goofy faces. He backs it up with killer production values and a mile-a-minute songwriting approach that fills each track to the brim with detail. And they go to genuinely unexpected places. "Chant" starts out as an unholy mix of 8-bit bleeps, squelchy basslines and cheap synth horns, before Jenkins slides some tablas in and the track unexpectedly veers towards Indian instrumentation. "Stuck In The Muddle" uses a similar sound palette, starting out as some sort of rural jig before morphing into another cheerful dance track. Then there's "Pull Your Rug Away," an uplifting chant marked with squirmy synthesizers and rolling tribal drums. Though it clocks in at 22 minutes, Rooster has more meat than plenty of dance music full-lengths.
01. TC Chook (Before)
04. Pull Your Rug Away
05. Stuck In The Muddle
06. TC Chook (After)