It’s ironic that the adjective interesting is actually quite an uninteresting way to describe something, despite this, for Bullion’s (Nathan Jenkins) All Abawd mixtape it’s a useful place to start. Released on 26th April in a small batch on cassette by The Trilogy Tapes it sold out quickly. Indeed, it’s easy to miss these kind of endeavours and it was only Bullion’s TTT follow up, the excellently intriguing Blue Pedro EP, and a little research that led me to buy the digital 27 minutes 31 second mix. Despite it’s springtime release the mixtape is perfect for this moment- high summer- when much of the music that has/will characterise the previous/upcoming months has already been rinsed, repeated and enjoyed. Comfortable with what is there and safe in the knowledge it’s not going anywhere, it’s always worth trying something a little bit different and this mixtape serves this purpose perfectly.
In a relatively short space of time Bullion’s All Abawd covers significant musical ground. Tracks ebb, flow, leave, return and are put unexpectedly married, ignoring tempo or genre the tape is eclectic without sacrificing any sense of coherency. All Abawd opens with slow-mo atmospheric, euphoric and world influenced sounds and alters between this and the slamming percussion and energetic synth lines that the more recent Blue Pedro EP is home to. The mixtape is characterized by ear-catching, rapid movement between these two styles.
A mixtape can be a space for experimentation, an oft forgotten fact which Jenkins takes full advantage of. Indeed, it’s an all too predictable formula when a mixtape from a DJ sounds indistinguishable from the dancefloor. A mixtape can showcase musicality without worrying about danceability. In this sense selecting music can be as interesting or uninteresting as you choose to make it and Jenkins’ awareness of this is a large part of what makes All Abawd such a refreshing listen. In addition to this it showcases his talents as a producer as a lot of the material looks forward to his Blue Pedro EP.
The beginning of what could become a nautical themed musical love affair for Bullion and TTT, All Abawd serves as a wonderful introduction. An aquatic adventure, providing welcome relief from sweaty summertime saturation, the mixtape can still be downloaded in digital form from Bandcamp.
Words by Hugo B