The Range

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.

Octo Octa in the Bad Room

It shouldn't be surprising that Brooklyn-based producer Octo Octa (née Maya Bouldry-Morrison) had already logged tireless years as a fringe IDM artist and sound designer before her debut EP Let Me See You lasso'd a mighty wave of international house-heads to the dance-floor and helped push underground house label 100% Silk onto everyone's radar in 2011. Seven records later, which include a misty deep-house slow-burner in the Where Did You Go/Through The Haze 12" for Chicago-based, Smartbar DJ Steve Mizek's Argot imprint and the soaringly luxurious More Times EP for German powerhouse Running Back, Bouldry-Morrison's finely-tuned marriage of exquisite compositional flare, meticulously-sculpted sonics, and primal dance-floor functionality has earned her a a Red Bull Music Academy residency in Manhattan, which found the producer working closely with Harald Bjork and Throwing Snow, as well as tours across the world that included coveted gigs at Berlin's Panorama Bar, Frankfurt's Live At Robert Johnson, and Barcelona's Sonar Festival.

Fresh off of having SPIN Magazine herald percussive floor-burner "Cause I Love You" as one of the 50 Best Dance Songs Of 2014, Octo Octa currently has forthcomiing coming 12"s prepped for DeepBlak and Stay Underground It Pays and is preparing for another year of pushing her unique sonic perspective and shimmering club-ready earworms through soundsystems across the world.

Sam Obey aka Obey City (pronounced “oh-bee city”) has a weird energy. This soft-spoken 26 year old New York native is at once a producer, deejay, label boss, tastemaker and champion of the new-New York underground. He effortless handles each role with zen-like serenity—in a lost tradition of American culture, one may have said ‘suave’.

What started as casual experimentation and beat making for rappers and friends has evolved over the last 10 years into an unrelenting solo passion, resulting in a steady stream of sould-renched bedroom music that avoids trends in favor of the enduring. This is the direct product of Quincy Jones, of Tomita, of Stevie Wonder, of Mahavishnu Orchestra & undoubtably Todd Terry & Mobb Deep. It’s through this new culture of producers attempting to recontexualize late 20th century soul with modern bootlegged DAWS that we can understand a subtle vein of pure melodic optimism.

Obey is humble when it comes to just about everything, but his penchant for the sounds of soul, funk and smooth jams has instilled a vibe that has grown up alongside a rapid evolving urban musical landscape. The result is glossy, shifting dance music that seeks the weird, the unrestrained, the cleverly odd.

Obey City’s path really took shape in late 2009 with Atlantics, the debut release of his free net-label Astro Nautico, where he appeared alongside fellow label heads and longtime friends Kuhn and Paul Jones. Obey City’s unique appropriation of nostalgic sound palettes for modern purposes led to his debut solo release 18 months later, the acclaimed Melted Magic EP, also on Astro Nautico.

2012 heralded Obey City’s imperial expansion, first with his notable inclusion in Rustie’s BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix followed by his first release beyond Astro Nautico: MY RVM EP on B.YRSLF Division, featuring a remix by viral sensation Baauer. Soon he was signed to the Scottish powerhouse and Warp-partner LuckyMe, producing remixes for the likes of Freshmore and Civil Music, all while continuing to promote budding producers via Astro Nautico.

The future only looks to shine brighter, with his recent work culminating in the form of two EPs to be released on LuckyMe in 2013.


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