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Potential is the new album from producer James Hinton under his alias of The Range.
Hinton made the computer his primary instrument after falling under the spell of Baltimore club, bringing in his broader sonic influences from early ‘90s jungle, early ‘00s grime and mid ‘00s electronica to a new sonic whole. The software was the thing at home, but what excited the young producer was the network, and where he spiraled was YouTube. Potential uses as its backbone a series of vocal samples that Hinton has found in the forgotten corners of the site, guiding us around the hinterlands of YouTube, introducing us to unknown artists expressing themselves unfettered by the constraints of industry, lost in the infinite potential of an audience unknown.
Potential is a record steeped in histories – of its characters, of its forebears – but is startlingly new and alive: the network may be ones and zeros but the circuitry here runs on blood, still.
If he followed in his mother's footsteps, 24-year-old Los Angeles house producer Sage Caswell might never have made it out of the San Fernando Valley. Not that there's anything wrong with the suburbs—it's just that much harder for an artist to carve out a career in dance music when they're removed from the city. Making an impact often requires being in the midst of things, at least to start.
In 2012, Caswell connected with fellow LA producer Cromie, with whom he shared a bill at Hollywood megaclub Avalon, and the two eventually paired up on "Vines" b/w "Pyrex," the inaugural 12" from Brooklyn label Peach. The EP sold out quickly, and while the inclusion of remixes from Kyle Hall and Ghosts on Tape undoubtedly had something to do with the record's success, the 12" also garnered plenty of accolades for Cromie and Caswell's shimmering, percussive production. With Cromie, they have since collaborated on remixes of Newbody's "Wut U Do" for 100% Silk and Ratcatcher's "Motion" for Peach.
These days, Caswell weaves through the various crews and cliques that make up LA's electronic landscape seamlessly, affiliated without clear affiliation. At the same time, he remains something of a contrarian. He's a Southern California native who refuses to drive, a former skate diehard who still reads Thrasher, and a rising talent who hasn't forgotten where he came from. In April, French label Decabaret issued his solo debut, the vinyl-only Tribute 2 CC Arthur EP. "That EP is really special to me because it's an homage to my boy, CC Archer, who passed away. We lost him," says Caswell. "We do this for our boys. He was a classic dude, he was like the heady music dude in Santa Clarita. This is for him."
More solo releases are in the works, including a cassette version of his recent contribution to the venerable White Light Mixes series, an ambient mix of entirely original productions. He's also done a track for a forthcoming Waze & Odyssey project, along with a full EP for Archie Pelago Music. Slowly but surely, it seems that Caswell's risks have paid off; though he once abandoned his dreams to pursue a new love, he now sits among a new class of promising young LA producers.
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