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Podcast 338: The Range

Although The Range (a.k.a. James Hinton) released a couple of low-profile EPs in 2011 and 2012, it wasn't until last year that the Rhode Island producer really caught fire. The Seneca EP found Hinton impressively dipping his toes into faster tempos, while Nonfiction, his subsequent debut full-length, offered a variety of bass-infused musical explorations. In terms of style, The Range is a difficult project to pin down; strong currents of hip-hop and R&B run through Hinton's work, and there's undoubtedly a certain cleanliness to his productions, but his vision extends beyond what's playing on mainstream radio. Last month, his development continued with the release of the Panasonic EP (another Hinton effort for the Donky Pitch label), but the record ultimately left us wanting a longer look at what The Range had to offer; as such, we invited him to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series.

Looking over the tracklist, one can gleam a little more knowledge about what's shaping Hinton's musical proclivities. He's obviously not afraid to interact with pop sounds, as he's worked in hip-hop cuts from Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Chingy, and Young Thug, not to mention the blatantly commercial stylings of Calvin Harris and Linkin Park. (It's a safe bet that this is the first—and last—time that Linkin Park will appear in an XLR8R podcast.) At the same time, Hinton also taps into more experimental fare from King Felix (a.k.a. Laurel Halo) and Squarepusher. Like The Range himself, the mix is difficult to define, an effect that's only heightened by his decision to include several of his own productions. In just 50 minutes, Hinton moves through a lot of music, frequently switching up the tempo and maintaining a fairly frenetic vibe. Still, there is a sort of cohesion amongst the chaos, and perhaps that's the key to his appeal. For all of the music's familiar elements, there's still no one else out there who sounds quite like The Range, and it seems like he wouldn't want it any other way.

01 Spooky Black "Ur Song"
02 Octo Octa "Memories" (100% Silk)
03 Linkin Park "Crawling" (Warner)
04 Princess Bambi "Less Love More Sex" (PC)
05 King Felix "Spring 01" (Liberation Technologies)
06 The Range "Motivate" (Astro Nautico)
07 CHVRCHES "We Sink (The Range Remix)"
08 Chingy "Pullin Me Back" (Slot-A-Lot)
09 Wisp "Roads Up Over" (Terminal Dusk)
10 Onoe Caponoe "Milkyway 1311 (Djrum Remix)" (2nd Drop)
11 The Range "Disjoint" (Astro Nautico)
12 Jay-Z "Dead Presidents (Instrumental)" (Roc-A-Fella )
13 The Range "A Solitudinous Diptych" (Astro Nautico)
14 Squarepusher "Iambic 9 Poetry" (Warp)
15 Young Jeezy "I Do" (Def Jam)
16 The Range "Distractions" (Astro Nautico)
17 The Range "Blindspot" (Astro Nautico)
18 Thug Entrancer "DAL I (The Range Remix)" (Software)
19 Young Thug "4 Eva Bloody"
20 Calvin Harris "Thinking About You" (Columbia)
21 The Range "Rayman"
22 The Range "Brass Trio"
23 The Range "Two" (Donky Pitch)

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