A silhouette appears on the screen in front of you, framed in static. He speaks a word and walks offscreen, replaced by another silhouetted individual, a female this time. She states only a few words before the screen goes black, plunging you into darkness. After only a few moments, hundreds, thousands of screens light up, surrounding you with singing silhouettes of every shape and frequency. The voices grow in volume, and swirl together in unison . . .
YouTube is a miraculous thing, an ecosystem where individuals have the opportunity to share pieces of their souls with anyone willing to watch. Most of these creations are viewed only a couple of times, becoming lost in the virtual ether altogether, but what if these forgotten artists were granted a platform, an opportunity to be heard? Potential is the newest full-length from Brooklyn-based producer James Hinton as The Range.
Hinton scoured the nooks and crannies of YouTube, searching for the most unknown singers expressing themselves in the most powerfully emotive ways. He chops up these voices, alters them with a multitude of effects, and constructs songs around the performances, complimenting them as lead vocalists. The result is an astounding collection of glistening, uplifting electro-pop, hip-hop, and r&b-flavored concoctions.
What’s even more fascinating is the fact that Hinton hunted down every one of his vocal sources, and signed each of them for a portion of his publishing. This display of interconnected art is remarkable, and as we journey further into a world of creative collaboration, it forces each one of us to consider how we fit into the grand scheme of music. If you’re seeking twinkling, sample-based electronics, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)