by Lauren Carroll Harris in New Music on Thursday 12 July 2012

Free the Beats Volume 8 is the latest in a series of free downloadable albums from Sydney, and a kind of open mic for new, local beatmakers. These are not the arctic blips and chirps of Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreaks. To listen to Free the Beats is to receive waves of warm, downbeat rhythms; a perfect fleshy synthesis of hand-rendered electronica. These are beats made in bedrooms. The deeper I delve into the digital world, the more I realise what we once thought of as polar opposites – analogue and digital, painted and pixelated, acoustic and electronic – are actually transposable counterpoints smattered through hundreds and hundreds of shades of grey.