Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2016 So Far

16. The Range

Making a record that hinges on sampling to create something new is nothing out of the ordinary, but Brooklyn-based producer the Range (a.k.a. James Hinton) transcended that simple concept with his second LP, Potential; Hinton used a specific set of search terms to plumb the depths of YouTube for videos of amateur vocalists, which he then sampled alongside his own top-notch production.

The samples that he found don't just add colour to his compositions, but emotional depth as well. These vocal snippets, looped and processed as they may be, drive the record through a series of moods, from uplifting to urgent. Potential is a testament to electronic music's capacity for emotional power, human feeling and sense of connection; if Hinton's production doesn't strike an emotional chord, his vocal collaborators surely will.
Calum Slingerland