08 Dec The Cult of Maybe’s ‘Freedom of Beats’ | A Platform for Experimental Electronic Music
The South African electronic music scene is one that is constantly evolving, and at a significant pace too. We have self-made DJs and producers, internationally recognised artists, local favourites, and small time bedroom producers. It’s a prolific scene and one that isn’t afraid to experiment, often under a multiplicity of new monikers or outfits.
Always though, there will be gatekeepers. Labels, venues, and music sites who are too afraid to take a risk on an artist whose style they think may be a little too dicey. What the scene needs is a platform to celebrate and showcase artists who are looking to venture outside of conventional genres or even their own longstanding genres. That’s where Freedom of Beats comes in.
Curated by creative agency The Cult of Maybe, the Freedom of Beats project is aimed at putting out experimental music in all forms from local producers, both familiar and foreign to the scene.
Angela Weickl, aka Sideshow who heads up The Cult of Maybe, explains that Freedom of Beats allows SA and SA based producers the opportunity to release music that they may have always wanted to play around with, but didn’t for fear of venturing too far from their associated sound. “If a techno producer wants to make a trap song, Freedom of Beats is the place to release that track!” she says. “It’s a chance to have some fun and challenge yourself to make a genre you’ve never toyed with before. I think it’s a necessary platform, because it will provide an outlet of creativity and help the purists find some chill too.”
With access to social media, anybody has the ability to self-promote, but Angela explains that new producers often get lost in the over saturated online realm. “Because it’s an age of self-promotion, you find that you’re wading through a lot more pollution in order to find clear waters and you need to be a lot smarter in order to stand out. Very few people crate dig online, most turn to aggregators like blogs and charts that they trust in order to find new music, so you have to associate with the correct platforms in order to be heard.”
For a debut volume, Freedom of Beats packs a hell of a punch. It’s a seven track collection of some well-known names and a few quieter artists too. Opening with Buli’s ambient and otherworldly synth on ‘Cloudy’ allows for a pensive and considered entrance into the other artists’ sounds.
Jojo Keiper’s ‘423’ has stunningly melodic drumwork and sparse, summertime strings, while Watermark High’s ‘End Of Level Boss’ ups the tempo with a dramatic bitcrushing texture.
On a more sombre note, Women Who Kill’s tribute to Apple Sawc sounds out like a beautifully dreamy eulogy that will play on the heartstrings of all who knew the late artist and his music.
All tracks are free and available for download, so if you like what you hear, do the good social media thing and help local artists get their sound out there.
Photos by Jonathan Ferreira / @byjono