The Range announces first new album in six years titled 'Mercury'

New single 'Ricercar' out now

The Range, a.k.a the Vermont-based musician and producer James Hinton, resurfaced recently with new single 'Bicameral' which The FADER praised for its “tornado of breakbeats and pristine, bittersweet melodies.” Today, The Range follows that up by announcing his first new album in six years, Mercury, out June 10th, and sharing track 'Ridercar' along with its video, directed by Stevie Gee & Essy May and produced by Blink Ink. Essy May also provided the illustrations for the album artwork.

On 'Ricercar' Hinton commented: “Ricercar  - literally -  “to search out”. A Ricercar in a musical context is a prelude fugue that kind of sets the tableau of a piece to follow. I first heard about the concept of a Ricercar in a biography of Bach, who famously encoded his own name in a piece (H having been interchangeable as the name for B-flat at the time). At the time I wrote this song I was listening to a lot of rap from the 90s, specifically DJ Premier beats. As such I was rapidly collecting breaks and had just stumbled upon the Chief Kamanawanalea break by the Turtles and found that if I reordered the sections I could make this kind of palindromic composite break that seemed to propel the song along.”.

“This song features a vocal sample from Instagram of a singer covering Tamar Braxton’s ‘My Man.’ The lyrics are quite personal to me and are a good example of what I try to do in a lot of my songs. I tend to try to find a way to say something that I would never be able to say out loud. I think of my editing of lyrics as a pressure release.”

In April of 2018 James Hinton relocated from Brooklyn to isolate himself in the Green Mountains of Vermont and continue to work on the tracks that would make up his rave and grime-influenced fourth LP as The Range. When naming the new album, he landed on a word that captured both the deep intensity of the songs and their multiplicity of meanings: Mercury.

The mirror-like surface of liquid mercury made him think about the way his music reflected specific memories from his life. Mercury poisoning causes mad hatter’s disease, a neurological disorder characterized by behaviors including depression, apathy, and social anxiety, all moods that had taken hold of him during his time alone in Vermont. Hinton, who holds a degree in physics from Brown University, also thought of the planet Mercury and its fraught position as the closest planet to the sun. Eventually, as the sun expands into a red giant star, Mercury will be burnt up and consumed. Hinton had been verging on burnout in his creative process and liked the idea of Mercury continuing to exist despite its cataclysmic trajectory - as he puts it, “scorched but still in orbit”.   

On 'Mercury', Hinton builds on the techniques he established on his critically acclaimed 2016 LP Potential, seeking to create human connection in the Internet age through sampling vocalists from the corners of YouTube, Instagram, and Periscope. “I feel like I can find ways to express myself in ways that I’m too shy or unable to do in the real world,” Hinton says of the process.

'Mercury' is moody, transportive, and undeniably rave-infused, and although it is indebted to IDM mainstays like Aphex Twin and grime pioneers like Skepta, the album finds Hinton pushing himself outside the constraints of any one specific genre. The result is both maximalist and restrained, huge soft synths up against cruising beats to offset the compressed vocals of his carefully chosen clips. “Mercury is my most wide-ranging album yet,” says Hinton. “My memories of rave music, grime and MPC music are playing heavily in almost every song.”  

'Mercury' was produced by James Hinton with additional production by Damian Taylor (Bicameral, Ricercar, Relegate), mixed by Lexxx (Alex Dromgoole) except for “Relegate” which was mixed by Damian Taylor, and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters in Los Angeles, CA.  

Stream Ricercar here on your favourite digital retailer

Pre-save Mercury here

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