“I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)
The philosopher might see the future. He might know the path ahead for a hero, and point their compass in that direction. Stoic, wise, possibly bearded, the philosopher uses his mind to explain the mysteries of being.
The Range is producer James Hinton (he is not bearded). In a broad definition, Hinton creates hip-hop beats. He takes influences from UK grime, drum & bass, and jungle— and the complexity and scope in which Hinton creates his works is enlightened. For his newest album, Potential, Hinton entered the depths of YouTube, scouring through videos of singers and storytellers from parts unknown. Many of these videos had less than 100 views when Hinton came upon them. On each track, with the artist’s permission, he samples their vocal tracks and frames his music around it. Hinton also made sure all collaborators were paid for their work. Together, these works create raw truth, a human truth, gathered wisdom distilled into a singular musical piece. The philosophical worth of beat-making.
How should an album be organized?
I think there is a bit of duality with a record where it should work as individual songs and reach something bigger when thought of as a whole—it’s all about what framework you bring to the table as a listener. I think you can sort of drill down at will and spend time with a four bar loop of a song, sections of a song, one song, a record, and a discography and each merits a look and should all be self-consistent. Or at least there is a framework from which that mode of thinking is valid.
What single album can instantly make you happy?
That would have to be DSU by Alex G. It’s super sad music to me but for some reason it’s always a breath of fresh air and lifts me up in a strange way. I think I usually listen to it when I walk around my neighborhood and I have really positive associations with that.
What would you be doing if music was non-existent?
Hopefully would be studying theoretical physics somewhere. All throughout school I basically split my time between music and physics so I have always had an interest in pursuing research in black holes and particle physics.
What is joy?
Cheap answer because I make music but for sure the moment (usually very late at night) when a song finally comes together! That is a feeling I can’t get enough of.
Photographer: James Perry.