The Range

James “The Range” Hinton comes out swinging with Nonfiction, his debut full-length of idiosyncratic post-dubstep and future bass. While certainly in conversation with the underground U.K. bass scene, Nonfiction never relies on passing fads to foster an emotional connection — the artist makes it clear he’s following his own muse. There is a loose formula in play here: It revolves around grimey hip-hop sub-bass, shimmering piano and synth lines, and looped, disembodied vocal snippets. But Hinton seems to thrive within these self-imposed confines, and beneath the rough exterior of many of these beats lies a plaintive, uninhibited beauty, best exemplified by album standout “Jamie.” The Range has few peers (no small feat in the cannibalistic world of electronic music), which is precisely why Nonfiction ought to go down as one of 2013’s most vital debuts.