The Range’s ‘Urethane’ Is A Grime-Infused Audiovisual Dreamscape

Back in 2016, The Range’s James Hinton released one of the most creative electronic albums of the year in Potential. Hinton presented IDM-leaning productions, cut with spliced in sounds of internet clips that spoke to him, sometimes haunted him, and just plain piqued his imagination. That was six years ago and Hinton relocated from Brooklyn to Vermont’s Green Mountains, seeking creative isolation before he knew that the world was about to offer him a heavy dose of that. Come June 10th, Hinton will finally put out the next album from The Range in Mercury, and it follows a distinct conceptual path for his surreal, dreamy soundscapes.

On “Urethane,” the album’s latest single, Hinton rides a sample from “Ice Rink,” by UK grime rapper MIK, a track that originally appeared on a 2015 compilation by British independent label Chip Butty Records. The track has grime, footwork and even hardcore rave vibes, but it’s the lyricism that inspired Hinton.

“The lyrics ‘last year man got left in the dark — ’cause man didn’t really have nothing to say’ hit me hard as I was feeling pretty left out and forgotten,” Hinton said in a statement. “I had moved from the thick of it in Brooklyn to rural Vermont, and in late winter 2019 and I felt like I had a mutually agreed upon separation from the world. Those lyrics were defiant to me and I liked that as a way of fighting back against that feeling.”

The video for the track directed by Stevie Gee and Essy May features animation reminiscent of the classic Johnny Quest cartoon. Hinton explained that it speaks to the album’s title and how the clip’s story arc presents mercury as the most valuable commodity in the world. The characters are pitted against an err…mercurial antagonist and their triumph is highlighted by what Hinton describes as “the ever-changing form that mercury can take, flowing, moving and morphing… as well as themes of change, decay, growth and rebirth.”

Watch the video for “Urethane” above and check out the album artwork and tracklist for Mercury below.

The Range Mercury
Essy May

1. “Bicameral”
2. “1995”
3. “Urethane”
4. “Ricercar”
5. “Not For Me”
6. “Relegate”
7. “A Tree Day”
8. “Balm”
9. “Cantor”
10. “Every Good Thing”
11. “Violet”

Mercury is out 6/10 via Domino Records. Pre-order it here.