Exclaim!'s Top 10 Dance & Electronic Albums Best of 2016



 
9. The Range
Potential
(Domino)
 
Sampling found sound is certainly nothing new in electronic music, but by scouring the margins of YouTube for new, fascinating and affecting voices, Pennsylvania DJ and producer James Hinton, better known as the Range, made it feel new and exciting again, weaving a sonic tapestry as human as it is technically brilliant.
 
On opener "Regular," for example, Hinton marries a chopped-up plea by a young musician to a sparse, chiming two-step beat that's as tense as it is hopeful, imbuing the voice with added emotion; on the propulsive "Five Four," a rapper confronts the traumatic effects of day-to-day oppression as Hinton propels it all with a hard, sky-reaching piano loop. Like the best electronic music, Potential has the ability to move both the dance floor and the mind, and from the album's beginning all the way to closer "1804," that's exactly what the Range does here.
Stephen Carlick