James Hinton, as The Range, has released his debut record, an electronica mashup of sorts, taking a range of vocal samples to create his peculiar first coming. But the beats he’s spinning aren’t ones you’ll find pulsing at a club, no, Hinton’s created a melodic diary, with each track acting as a distinctively different chapter in the journey of Potential.
Opening with the striking track Regular, created with samples from MC SdotStar’s unheeded monologue. He uses ominous synth and a pounding beat as the backdrop for the repeated lines, “Right now I don’t have a backup plan for if I don’t make it / But even if … / I’ll just decide to move on to something bigger and better” which are spoken in such a tone that intrigues and urges a listen on to its following tracks. With No Loss matching similar qualities, with its eerie atmosphere that grows into something intricately haunting with tinkling beats and urgent melodies. While Copper Wire, Florida are in a stark contrast, with much more vibrant melodies quirky nature.
Potential is one of those records that will either captivate or confuse on a first listen. It’s unnatural flow and varied texture can be found unpalatable, but there’s so much lurking beneath the surface it warrants a second listen; the message of each track is often intertwined with the vocal and rhythmic layers. From the ominous rap of Five Four to the island vibe, Jamaican cool of finale track 1804 – it’s a wild ride. Play it on loop, or shuffle it; either way you’re left with electronica that feels personal and raw, which is quite an impressive feat.