Tuesday, December 23, 2008

End of Year Listmania Part 4

The end of the year Listmania continues. Enjoy the two free tracks below that made the lists. Check out the full post to find out what music our friends The Pinker Tones, Derek Beres, Señor Oz and GlobeSonic Sound System were listening to this year.

FREE DOWNLOAD - Cheb i Sabbah - Qalanderi (Six Degrees Records)


FREE DOWNLOAD - Pimps of Joytime - San Francisco Bound (DJ OBaH remix) (Wonderwheel Records)

Best of '08

Compiled by the Pinker Tones,Barcelona based Electro-popsters.


Profesor Manso's
choices:

Jamie Lidell - "JIM"
Best album of classic contemporary soul. In search of the perfect song...

Dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip - "Angles"
The discovery of the year! Masterfully unstructured beats featuring one of the best MC's of the moment.

Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago"
A beautiful heartbreaking story about love and misery. Intimate, warm and very personal.

Brazzaville - "21st Century Girl"
Our good friend David has released another great album. The fruit of an entire career creating his own suggestive universe.

Hellogoodbye - "Ukelele recordings" EP
Followinf the steps of Rosie Thomas or Damien Rice... Three delicious songs.

Mister Furia's choices:

Calle 13 - Los de atrás vienen conmigo
Probably the best live band of the whole latin alternative scene. Very imaginative production on this album.

TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Great album to get lost in. Fantastic songwriting and vocal arrangements. Something for Bowie and Beck lovers, who also have one or two Sonic Youth albums in their collection.

Dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip - "Angles"
A revelation, one of those great album that sound familiar and new at the same time.

Mexican Institute of Sound - Piñata
Its charming imperfection is simply unresistable.

The Aggrolites - Reggae Hit L.A
This album is actually from 2007, but I've discovered it this year. The best old school reggae band you can see live these days.

Top 10 Releases of '08

Compiled by Derek Beres- EarthRise Soundsystem, Author, DJ, Yoga Master.


Rootz Underground—Movement (Mystic Urchin)

Q-Tip—The Renaissance (Motown)


Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80—Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80 (Disorient)


Al Green—Lay It Down (Blue Note)


Damon Aaron—Highlands (Ubiquity)


Les Primitifs du Futur—Tribal Musette (Sunny Side)

Bombay Dub Orchestra—3 Cities (Six Degrees)


El Hadj N’Diaye—Geej (Marabi France)


Seckou Keita—The Silimbo Passage (World Adventures)

Erykah Badu—New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War (Motown)




Top Twelve Records You Might Have Missed This Year (2008)

Señor Oz (Afrolicious, SF)


Ocote Soul Sounds - The Alchemist Manifesto (ESL Music)
Someone called this "mescalin music" , I don't know about that , but this collaboration between Adrian Quesada (Brownout) and Martin Perna (Antibalas) shifts takes elements of Afrobeat, Latin, downtempo and dub and turns it into pure gold!

Dunkelbunt - Cinnamon Girl (Chat Chapeau)
Balkan music influenced many electronic styles the last couple of years , but I hadn't heard anyone combine swing jazz, gypsy lines, dub and dancehall with deep beats until Dunkelbunt showed up in the record bin. Check the White Chocolate remix! Also check the Dunkelbunt spice mix!

Nappy G - Global Party System (Bagpack)
The veteran stickman comes correct, showing the world you can dance and be funky and still think about the world and how to Fight the Power! Check out the wicked remixes from Red Astaire, DJ Smash, Pleasuremaker and Kid Gusto!

Jeff Stott - Sono (Nickodemus remix) (Six Degrees Records)
Ouds and beats and East and West collide!

Curumin - Japanpopshow (Quannum)
Finally someone realizes you can have your classic Brazilian funk and your Baile funk all on the same record! A song for every mood, scenario and generation on this one!

Fania Remixed - I Like it Like That - (Fania)
This album got lots of spins at the Afrolicious party, very hard to name a favorite, but the Louie Vega remix of his uncle Hector Lavoe is pure magic and does everything a remix is supposed to do; bring modern production to a classic sound and make it relevant to a whole new generation of listeners and dancers.

Tony Allen - Lagos Shake (Honest Jons)
This remix project , which is a collection of 12" that were previously released separately, has a diverse line-up of artists re-fashioning the Afro-beat maestro's newer material. I loved this record because there is a style for everyone's taste. For the soul-jazz minded dig the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's version of Sankofa.

Midnight Lab Band - Run Riot 12" (NYCTrust)
Beautiful 45rpm 12" pressing of an epic mid-tempo Latin Disco burner. You can't even buy this on mp3, get out your Technics!

Lightning Head - Afrobeat EP Lion Head Recordings
Remember Bigga Bush, well he went all Afro-beat for his Lightning Head alias and I hope he keeps bringing this heat! Also check out the Lightning Head album "Studio Don". Wicked!

Tal M. Klein - Rubs n Remixes Aniligital Music
Another one that came out all on vinyl (thanks Tal!). You still should cop the vinyl for the Snugs remix of Plastic Starfish!

Pimps of Joytime - Funk Fixes and Remixes (Wonderwheel Recordings)
Our East Coast cousins destroy all live venues they play, do not miss them if they come anywhere close to your town! If you like your funk with more thump cop this album!

TM Juke And The Jack Baker Trio - Boto & The Second Liners (Tru Thoughts)
When I first heard the New Orleans inspired cover of the classic dancehall anthem Heads High on this record I was dancing to dj Jeremy Sole at the Funk Sole party in LA and I completely lost it! What's in the water in Brighton?
RE-ISSUE/Compilation

Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story (Strut)
I'm an '80's hater! I hate Reagan, cocaine, Ray-Bans, Miami Vice, and I hate the current '80's revival even more (stop wearing neon, you will regret it!) But lately I've been trying to find the gems that are timeless and genre-bending. Strut records (thanks K7 for bringing them back) has pretty much done the job for me with this compilation of tracks recorded at Chris Blackwell's Compass Point studio in the Bahamas. Every track is a standout, all feature Sly and Robbie on drums and bass, there are a few tracks you know (Tom Tom Club) but the ones you don't (Guy Cuevas) are just as fresh!


TOP 10 MOST LISTENED TO NEW ALBUMS OF 2008

compiled by Fabian Alsultany / GlobeSonic Sound System

Big Blue Ball - Big Blue Ball (Real World)
Cheb i Sabbah - Devotion (Six Degrees Records)
Fania Remixed - I Like It Like That (Fania Records)
Krishna Das - Heart Full Of Soul (Nutone Records)
Jamshied Sharifi - One (Ceres Records)
John Brown's Body - Amplify (Eazy Star Records)
Manu Chao - La Radiolina (Nacional Records)
MJ Green Mountain - MJ Green Mountain (mjmuzic)
Morley – Seen (Polydor France)
Ours - Mercy (American Records)


Top-13 High Vibe Days in NYC when nothing mattered except for what was happening in that moment – you just had to be there!
compiled by Fabian Alsultany / GlobeSonic Sound System


the contagious optimism of Election Day
the divine comedy from Reality Sandwich’s 2nd Annual Ayhuasca Monologues
the ecstasy of over 1000-strong at GlobeSonic's July Summer on the Husdson
the explosively beyond expectation debut of Seun Kuti @ SummerStage
the illumination at Parashakti’s Dance of Liberation @ COSM
the magic and mystery at the 1st Evolver Party @ Jivamukti
the reinvention of Enter The Dragon by Karsh Kale @ Celebrate Brooklyn
the revelation and rhetoric of the Marley Brothers @ 3am at Amazura
the soaring voice of Salief Keita through the park @ Celebrate Brooklyn
the unexpectedly awesome NYC debut of MC Yogi @ Jivamukti
the unfolding orgy at Voodoo Culture Clash’s Halloween @ South Street
the unity community at the Sulha Benefit Concert for Peace
the urgency and big business at the United Nation’s World Water Conference.



-Read the full Post-

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays from Six Degrees & the Real Tuesday Weld

FREE DOWNLOAD - THE REAL TUESDAY WELD - Into The Morning


Things are going to slow down a bit here on the blog as we take a well deserved break for the holidays. Rest assured that we'll be back in the '09 with a bevy of treats for your eyes and ears. In the meantime, here's some holiday cheer from Stephen Coates aka the Real Tuesday Weld to keep you in the true spirit of the season. Check out Stephen's inspired Christmas podcasts, the video holiday card from award winning animator Alex Budovksky and an extra holiday bonus treat of a previously unreleased and typically beautiful Real Tuesday Weld song called "Into the Morning" whose lyrical message seems to me to be quite appropriate as we careen into a fresh, new year.









The Real Tuesday Weld- Holiday Podcast 2006


The Real Tuesday Weld - Holiday Podcast 2007
-Read the full Post-

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sonantes




FREE DOWNLOAD - Sonantes - Quilombo Te Espera

As this year finally winds down, I can't help looking back at some of our
releases and analyzing how they were received in the global marketplace.
One of my faves of the year that seems to have "slipped through the cracks" for some people is the
Brazilian collective comprised of CéU and members of Nação Zumbi
and Instituto called Sonantes. This labor of love
project between São Paolo based friends is a genre-hopping musical
snapshot of how vibrant that city's music scene is right now.
Imagine Tom Waits and Portishead collaborating on the soundtracks for
a series of imaginary Brazilian films- and you may start to get an
idea of where the music is coming from. The Independent, a UK publication, just printed a rave review of the record that clearly "gets it", giving me an opportunity to offer up a free download for our readers and to once again call attention to one of the most interesting and unique Brazilian records of 2008 -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Six Degrees Traveler Tribute to Radiohead


Our weekly internet radio show, Six Degrees Traveler is celebrating its 175th episode this week with a special musical tribute to Radiohead. The show consists of two hours chock full of super rare tracks, bootleg live recordings, mash ups and remixes.

You can get the show on i-Tunes' Radio Section (Under the Eclectic or Electronica headings) or at

http://www.live365.com/sixdegrees

Check out the full playlist here -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

End of Year Listmania Part 3

End of Year Listmania Part 3:
The Cavalcade of the Year's Best as picked by a global cast of friends and family continues...

Including Top 10 lists from
Mark de Clive Lowe, DK/ Bollygirl,Goonda, Monareta, and Crazy Baldhead

2008 Top 10

Compiled by Mark de Clive Lowe
Artist/ Producer purveyor of all things Jazzy/Funky:

1) The resounding call for Change, USA
2) Q-Tip - The Renaissance (Motown)
3) Venice Beach, CA
4) Freesoul Sessions London Finale at Cargo, UK
5) 8sixteen32 - Grime Theatre, Birmingham UK
6) Sandra Nkake - vocalist, Paris France
7) Warsaw Silent Film Festival, Poland
8) Touring with Beardyman, NZ
9) Phil Asher's Phlash & Friends project
10) Travel... despite my carbon footprint



Top 10 tracks dropped in Bollygirl (AVZ) '08 dj sets
Compiled by DK/ Bollygirl of Goonda

1. Mumbai Cells (Shiva Soundsystem)
2. Poison Dart (The Bug)
3. The Balance (Sub Swara)
4. Skank Ethics (Sharmaji)
5. Anoushka Shankar vs.Massive Attack (DimmSummer Mashup)
6. Eastern Jam (Chase + Status)
7. H.A.L (Sebastien)
8. Dum Maro Dum (Punkwallah Remix)
9. Sandstorm (Karsh Kale)
10. Mumbai Driving (GOONDA)

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Top 10 tracks "Bollywood-Bhangstylz tracks" dropped in Bollygirl (AVZ) '08 dj sets
Compiled by DK/ Bollygirl of Goonda

1. Dum Maro Dum (Punkwallah Remix)
2. Nude-NADIA / Goonda vs. Radiohead (Rubber Goods Mashup)
3. Chura Liya (Bally Sagoo/GrooveRider Remix)
4. Twinkle Twinkle (Purab Aur Pachim)
5. Yeh Mera Dil (DON)
6. Bollywood Boy /Tina Sugandh (The Arch Cupcake Remix)
7. Immortal Bhang (Radiohiro)
8. Jiya Jale (djTarun Remix)
9. Telephone/Bikram Singh (Tigerstyle Remix)
10. Jimmy (MIA)



Best of 2008
Compiled by Monareta, Columbian Electro-Groovers:

1.VAMPIRE WEEKEND “Vampire Weekend”
Afro sounds meet indie rock.
2. NORTEC COLLECTIVE “Tijuana Sound Machine”
This album is one of the most interesting experiments in bass and beat textures with the power and groove from Tijuana’s folk instruments.
3. DUB SPECIALIST “Heartbeat”
Retro dance hall and dub with a compact and glitchy sound.
4. DUCHESS SAYS “Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs”
This band from Montreal has a hard power pop punk sound with thick distorted bass textures.
5. BE YOUR OWN PET “Awkward”
It’s an energetic album with great vocal melodies.
6. TONY GATLIF “Gadjo Dilo”
Even though the film Gadjo Dilo was released in 1997, Tony Gatlif, acclaimed French film maker released the sound track in 2008. The music is influenced by gypsy sounds.
7. RATATAT “LP3”
This band from Brooklyn has an instrumental sound balanced between rock and synth pop textures.
8. ROLAND ALPHONSO “Cleo’s Back 2”
Cool old school reggae.
9. THE BUG “London Zoo”
This project is one of the latest and cool experiments on U.K.’s underground dub step scene.
10. MENAHAN STREET BAND “Make the Road by Walking”
Old school instrumental funk influenced by an urban atmosphere.

Top 7 Albums/Compilations/Singles/Moments
Compiled by Crazy Baldhead (dubmission records)


1) TV on the Radio - Dear Science (4ad)

2) Bluetech - Phoenix Rising (Somnia)

3) The Bug - London Zoo (Ninja Tune)

4) Fat Freddys Drop - The Camel (Kartel)

5) Various Artists - On a Dubmission Volume 2 (Wakyo)

6) Adele - Hometown Glory (XL)

7) Mirror system - Live at the Glade Festiva
-Read the full Post-

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maga Bo - ARCHIPELAGOES




FREE DOWNLOAD - Maga Bo - Beni - from Archipelagoes


Maga Bo is part of a new breed of "fusioneers" who are helping to make that phrase legit again. Somewhere in the 70's, the concept of "fusion" music became inextricably associated with jazz rock bands that seemed to be more interested in flexing their chops than in presenting music that was interesting and satisfying compositionally. Nowadays, in a world which has become ridiculously small, the idea of "fusing" the sounds of different cultures is equally fraught with the dangers of self indulgence and neutered mediocrity. At it's best however, "fusion" music can bring together the more interesting strands of different cultures into a new whole that is more interesting than it's separate parts. Much of what we do here at Six Degrees strives for this kind of "melting pot" approach. There are always going to be purists who are aghast at these hybrids- but anyone who knows the history of music knows that it is in fact a history of "fusions". In my opinion, this is what keeps the gene pool strong and healthy.

To my ears, Maga Bo's new album represents the best of this concept at work. Recorded "on location" during his extensive travels in Africa (no canned samples here), Maga Bo turned tiny hotel rooms and a variety of locations into impromptu recording studios, capturing not only the local talent but the local flavor as well. The beats are steeped in Bo's love of ragga, dance hall, Baile Funk, hip hop, reggaeton and other "street grooves" of various cultures and the final result has the feel of a vital block party which could be taking place on almost any street in the world.

Big thanks to DJ /Rupture, another peerless (and fearless) fusioneer, for allowing us to post this track from this fine album. All of the releases on Rupture's Soot Records are well worth your attention and we look forward to featuring more of them on this blog in the future.



Bio:

World music is music with truly global reach: 50 Cent, U2, Shakira.
ARCHIPELAGOES is the other thing - emissions from the flip side where (it's
happening, now) vocals recorded in one-room studios on a microphone taped to a refrigerator
in lieu of a stand get released on the internet and played over local sound systems that same
night. By the next day the track has been sampled again by youth 6-time-zones away and
mashed up with whatever local concoctions they got going on.
Maga Bo's tapped into that weird new force-field. He grew up in Seattle during the grunge
years, learning studio production (read: fetching beer & cigarettes for Soundgarden), but left
as soon as he could, resettling in Brazil after lengthy worldwide travels. That force-field
surrounded him the whole time. I don't know what it is, but it helped this album turn
beautiful... aided by a mix of knucklehead determination and the gifted accidents that fall
when understanding happens despite the friction of honest collaboration, despite itself.
ARCHIPELAGOES.
You can hear his production voice (low-end crafted for extra bump, those melodic string
stabs, his sound engineer skills in full flex) hold together music made by loitering after work
in Senegal, Zanzibar, Capetown. The stories of its making got pressed into the sound. Some
of the unGoogleable contributors are African musical luminaries, famous in places where the
street doesn't talk to the internet. The overall vibe pulls a bigger picture into focus. Or maybe
it is a process.
An album like this comes loaded with stories... the motorcycle accident (well, it was the old
dude's fault) which led to blackmailing cops in Zanzibar, making the 3 videos and how that
was, the clicking in that track with Teba, the drunk virtuoso he had to relentlessly cajole and
quantize... (just don't ask about the cardboard box in Madrid).

http://myspace.com/magabo

http://magabo.com
-Read the full Post-

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Karsh Kale's Tribute to Mumbai




Tribute To Mumbai created by - Millenium Jones
pictoral and musical tribute to one of the greatest cities in the world....
" Aftermath "
Music composed by Karsh Kale and Salim Merchant
Music produced by Karsh Kale and Gaurav Raina
Suresh Lalwani - violin, viola
Pandit Sunil Das - sitar
featuring the voice of Mahatma Gandhi


-Read the full Post-

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: Tis the Season


Let's just cut right to the chase and come right out and say it. It's going to be a REALLY bad holiday season, capping off a difficult year for most businesses in this country. It doesn't look like the economy is going to be getting anything but worse for quite some time and companies that have been hanging on by their proverbial fingernails are now being pushed off the cliffs and out of business at an alarming rate. While this is by no means a phenomenon that is relegated only to the music business, the dominoes do seem to be falling in a particularly swift manner in our business and the body count is stacking up.

I bring this up to you today, not to be some dire, downer prophet of doom but instead to tell you that there IS something that you as consumers can do to help in the next few weeks (and certainly into the new year)- It is actually elegant in its simplicity.
If you want to support the independent businesses that offer you the kinds of choices that go beyond the bland and the mediocre, then this is the time to put your money where your loyalty lies. Let me be clear and tell you that this is not some plea for you to spend all of your holiday money on Six Degrees products (although that would of course warm the cockles of my heart). I'm talking about making an extra effort this season to support any and all of the indie oriented businesses that have brought the joy of diversity into your life. That means when it's time to get books for your friends and loved ones this holiday, skip the big chains and spread your hard earned dollars out to the many wonderful indie bookstores that are struggling to survive. If there are particular record labels that you love, this is the season to give their music as gifts and to either buy directly from them on their on-line stores or to purchase their releases from your favorite neighborhood independent record store (if there's still one around in your hood anymore). Buying direct from a label puts your money in their pockets quickly and eliminates any middle man. In general, take a moment to remember what a good value the gifts of books or music are. These are relatively inexpensive presents that bring resonance and pleasure to you and your loved ones way beyond most of the disposal trash that people exchange during this time of year. Few things can enrich a life as much as a great book or great music.
It's going to cost a bit more and lord knows we are all counting our pennies these days- but I promise you, if your favorite businesses go away, you are going to feel like that slight investment would have been a small price to pay the next time you can't find anything other than the mass appeal entertainment peddled by the big box retailers. Imagine a market place where the Walmart's of the world solely decide what will and will not be available to be sold. We are not that far from that scenario.

This is it, this is the season when your dollars are a kind of referendum on how much diversity and eclecticism a depressed market can bear. All I'm asking is that you take a moment to think about this when you are contemplating what you will be buying this season and where you will be buying it.

Whatever you decide to do, we here at Six Degrees Records are always in your debt. Your loyalty and patronage are something that we NEVER take for granted. Crazy economy or not, we appreciate your continued support of what we do. All of us here wish all of you and yours, the happiest and most restful of holiday seasons.
-Read the full Post-

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bionic Love Soundsystem


Free Download - Bionic Love Soundsystem - Outernational Dub - Buy Here



Bionic Love Soundsystem is the brain child of Adrian Blackhurst, a producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Vancouver's Beats Without Borders. I like the way Adrian has applied the "low end" aesthetics of dub and dub step with various other electronica genres to sounds from around the world. EthnosonicSubfunk Theories has an admirable use of "space" in the music as well, allowing the many global influences to breathe nicely along with the electronics. It's a pretty intriguing and unique approach to global fusion, well worth checking out for more adventurous global explorers.


Bio:

Adrian Blackhurst is a producer, multi-instrumentalist & DJ who has played in several amazing bands over the years and is currently focusing on solo productions, DJ'ing, remixes, & a few collaborations. He plays bass & electric guitar, laptop (the new almighty instrument), & the melodica. With his Bionic Love Soundsystem project he is working with players of sitar, tabla, bansuri, shakuhachi, violin, congas & other instruments that are passionately woven into electronic dance music to create something new. He creates & spins many various types of music such as Dub, Global Beatz, Downtempo, Nu Skool Breaks, Dancehall, Glitch-IDM, Ambient, etc... In November 2005 he released his first solo full length, "The Infinite Technique", a diverse album exploring elements of these genres & the fusion thereof. His 2nd full-length album, "EthnoSonicSUBfunk Theories" was released July 2008, and is available via cdBaby.com & iTunes. It explores dubstep, dancehall, dub, & breakbeats with instruments from India, Iraq, Korea, & Japan. (see MySpace or New Music Canada websites below to hear his tunes).

Adrian is also co-founder of Beats Without Borders, a collective of four musicians & djs that have been organizing large global fusion monthly events since 2004 in Vancouver, Canada. www.BeatsWithoutBorders.com

Contact Adrian :: bioniclove@gmail.com

Listen to Bionic Love Soundsystem tunes at :: www.myspace.com/blackhurst

Buy the album at: http://cdbaby.com/cd/blsoundsystem

Free dj mixes: www.beatswithoutborders.com/adrian.
-Read the full Post-

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: For Absent Friends:


I hope that today you will forgive a small detour away from the world of music and into matters of the heart. On Sunday I lost the best and most loyal friend I will ever have when we had to put our beloved dog Scout to sleep at the ripe old age of almost 17. Those of you who have lost a pet know how incredibly hard this is. It is amazing how much a beloved animal can become a part of your family.

We began looking for dogs when I had first left Windham Hill and my wife was worried that I was becoming depressed and spending too much time alone. One day, we were perusing pet ads in the paper when we spotted one from an animal rescue group that said something like: "Boxer mix. Incredibly special dog, one of our absolute favorites. Looking for the right family".

I had grown up most of my life with a wonderful boxer and we were intrigued enough to arrange to meet this mysterious beast in Dolores park, here in San Francisco. The people that ran the rescue group wanted to make sure that we were "compatible" so they drove him quite a ways for our get together. (it was almost like a blind date). Our first impression of Scout was how striking he looked. No one was quite sure of his mix- but they knew his mom was a boxer and their best guess was that he was mixed with black lab. Whatever his lineage, he was a uniquely handsome and strong dog. Because he had been in a shelter for a long time, he had some "aggression issues" with other dogs and his fierce bark was a bit intimidating to us at first but...there was just something there. My wife and I immediately felt a bond with him. Although we told the rescue folks that we needed to "think about it", I believe we were both already half way in love with him and were already visualizing our lives with him. The next week I had to go out of town on a business trip (shopping Six Degrees to labels in New York) and when I returned, my wife surprised me by picking me up at the airport with Scout in the car. It was signed, sealed and delivered... we were a new family.

Years later, the day after my daughter was born, I went home from the hospital to check on Scout and to bring him one of her baby blankets so that he could get used to her smell and prepare himself for the new arrival to his home. When this strange, tiny bundle of humanity entered his life, he was incredibly patient with her. When the baby would cry he would give us the most poignant look, as if to say "hey something's wrong with her, do something about it, make her feel better will you?".

When my daughter laughed for the first time as a baby, it was of course at Scout.
Somewhere along the line, Scout transitioned from being my dog to my daughter's dog. He of course continued to love us all with his same, sweet, pure and unquestioning loyalty but he had clearly decided that his main job in life was to love and protect the youngest in the clan. He began to sleep exclusively in her room and would mope around in the mornings until she finally woke up, signaling that his day could now officially start. They remained an inseparable team for the rest of his life.

In his later years, Scout began coming to work with me every day. He had always had separation anxiety as a result of being given up by his first family and he had always HATED being left at home alone. Our downstairs neighbors would tell us stories of the strange and pathetic keening and whining noises they would hear from upstairs when we were gone for long periods at a time. Coming to the office and being surrounded by people that lavished him with attention and treats, clearly suited him well- My wife often says that she thinks it's one of the reasons he lived so long. He quickly became territorial about the office, barking fiercely at the poor Fed Ex and UPS guys and bringing many a Six Degrees marketing meeting to a grinding halt with a particularly nasty dog fart.

In the end, he lived a long and wonderful life filled with love, attention and lots of treats. There are absolutely no words that can convey how much he brought to our family and how much we are going to miss him.

My favorite Scout memory (and the one I find myself continually going back to during this difficult time) is of him running on the beach, tearing at full throttle speed, chasing seagulls, looking like some incredibly alive cross between a race horse and a gazelle. My fondest wish for him is that he has found some endless stretch of beach where the chase goes on...

One of my favorite authors Graham Joyce , wrote a wonderful piece on his web journal when he lost his dog. His feelings so eloquently mirror mine that I enclose the link should you want to check it out.

The bond between human and canine is a wonderful, powerful and mysterious thing. Somehow we have found each other and helped each other through the trials of an often hostile world. It's almost enough to make you believe in some higher power that has thrown us together.

On this weeks edition of our weekly internet radio show, Six Degrees Traveler , I have channeled some of my feelings of grief and love the best way I know how, through music. I call it "Traveler's songs of loss and remembrance" . Music can be such a powerful medium for dealing with these feelings and it is my fondest wish that this week's show may resonate for you and the loved ones you have lost in your life.
-Read the full Post-

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

End of Year Listmania Part 2




In which we continue our parade of "Best of 2008" lists compiled by a variety of world-wide sources.

2008 Top 10 Future Brazilian Classic Albums (In no particular order):
Compiled by Béco Dranoff- Producer, A&R Genius and all around Brazil-o-phile

PAULA MORELENBAUM: Telecoteco (Mirante)

LUA: Lua (Olôko)

JAM DA SILVA: Dia Santo (304 Estúdio)

CURUMIN: Japan Pop Show (YB Music)

FREVO DO MUNDO: Compilation (Candeeiro Records)

TAMY: Tamy (Indep)

3 NA MASSA: 3 Na Massa (Nublu)

ZUCO 103: After The Carnaval (Six Degrees)

DJ DOLORES: Um Real (Ziriguiboom / Crammed)

MESTRES DA GUITARRADA: Música Magenta (Candeeiro Records)




Five Favorite Graveyards and Graves of 2008
Compiled by Stephen Coates aka the Real Tuesday Weld

Pere la Chaise (Oscar Wilde) Paris, France
Montparnasse (Serge Gainsbourg) Paris, France
Highgate (Karl Marx) London, England
Bunhill Fields (William Blake) London, England








Five Favorites of 2008

Compiled by Silvana Kane- Vocalist with Pacifika

1.the Laguna Seca Moto GP... what an amazing race.
2.soundchecking at the Hollywood Bowl... it was magical magical magical.
3.driving down to California with the band and watching the fire lit skies.
4.eating brunch and reading a book at the Medina Cafe in Vancouver.
5.waking up every day.





List of Favourite Weirdness 2008
Compiled by Nick Page aka Dubulah aka Dub Colossus

1/ Ethiopiques and Dub Colossus concerts at Barbican, June26th 2008
and Addis Ababa festival May 2008.

2/ Best TV: Anything with Dylan Moran, and Father Ted on permanantely.

3/ Meeting phenomenal Greek singer and anti-diva Savina Yannatou in Athens to discuss the Greek album we are making with Jimi Papazanteas

4/ Favourite Film: “Lay Down Your Hearts”- about Hukwe and Charles Zawose and the Zawose family..a film by John Simpson

5/ Best Guitar Moment 2008: Getting to record Skip (“Little Axe”) Macdonald at Real World Studios for Dub Colossus album...

6/ Best Album Recording: Doing album with Syriana (Abdullah Chhadeh and Bernard O`Neill)

7/ Best Dubulah session for an album: Recording baritone and sitar guitar for Anjali Bhatia new album.

8/ Obama wins US election! Reasons to be cheerfull..1,2,3!

9/ Best Jazz album 2008 : National Jazz Orchestra of Spain (feat Natalia Farran, Jerry Gonzales and Randy Brecker)- Awesome!

10/ Best Gigs Seen: Justin Adams and Juldah Camera at chilli fried, Darbucka Club,
Shlomo Beat Box vocal Orchestra at QEH…
Arve Henriksen at London Jazz Festival,
Dr John at the Dome




Top 10 of the year (in no particular order)
Compiled by David Starfire

Bhattacharya, Debashis- Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar- I’ve been getting into Indian Slide guitar these days and this CD has some nice elements to it and is recorded very well. Some parts sound like a blues guy playing a sitar and is very interesting. It probably sounds like how I would sound if I played a sitar. HA!


Santogold-Santogold- She had such a buzz in the underground scene and internet and I only heard a couple of songs at first. I wasn’t sure if the whole CD was going to be consistent, but every song on it is a hit. This is my favorite indie/pop type of album of the year and I'm sure it will be on many charts. The whole CD is solid and two of my favorite tracks are Say Aha, and Creator, which was co-produced by FreQ Nasty.


FreQ Nasty-Fabriclive 43- This just came out and it’s a slammer with tons of hard beats and killer tunes. Lots of dubstep, Baltimore and other crazy beats on here and I'm just lovin it! This is a great mix of what is going on in the underground dance scene in the UK, Baltimore and West Coast.


Cheb I Sabbah-Devotion- His Devotion CD is my favorite chill CD of the year and great to put it on at a dinner party. He has really made a beautiful CD- I'm really digging it!


Goonda-Third World Radio- The NYC crew really did a great job on this CD. They really know what they're doing on the East Coast. The double CD also has great remixes from Radiohiro and Dhruva and killer packaging.

Dehli 2 Dublin-Dehli 2 Dublin-This Vancouver Band is awesome live and has great songs and a sound that is totally unique. I really appreciate what they are doing. I like the song Apples and I love Celtic Dub so much I remixed it for their new Remix project!


Eat Static-Back to Earth- I always loved these guys and Jef Stott played Pharaoh at the Beloved fest and I was stunned by that track. I didn’t even know that they had a new CD out and all the tunes are great. I hope others check it out- it’s very deep.


Jef Stott- Saracen- This CD is a great mix of world music and electronica and he blended them together very well. I especially like the track Faqir, and liked it so much that I remixed it!


Tipper-Wobble Factor- He has the most cutting edge production and bass for days. Snot Rocket is my favorite track. He is a true innovator and his sound has really influenced many producers today. This is available on www.addictech.com


Lynx-Grain of Sand- This upcoming artist from Boulder played some of the festivals that I performed at this year and she is amazing. She performs with Jamie Janover (on Hammer Dulcimer) and loops guitar parts for a live, hi energy show. She has a great voice and a personality that is special. This CD is available on CD baby and iTunes to check out.


There is soooo much music out there and so little time and I always appreciate my friends and DJ’s that recommend music to me. I think this year had some great music and definitely looking forward to next year!

-Read the full Post-

Monday, December 1, 2008

Maduro- Siege





Maduro - "Dwelled Within" Free Download -Buy Here




I'm always happy when someone adds a fresh twist to a tried and true genre. The Washington DC based producer who calls himself Maduro brings a nice, dark industrial bent to his take on Middle Eastern influenced electronica. If you ever wondered what Trent Reznor might sound like if he incorporated global sounds into his musical palette, you may want to delve deeper into Maduro's repertoire. I find his latest full length Siege as well as the EP, Fin de Siècle very interesting examples of bellydance electronica served up with a unique "edge".



Bio:

Maduro is a Washington D.C. area electronic music artist who records a blend of dark, textured electronica and “Electribal” music catering to the darker and more abstract side of world fusion and period music. Maduro signed with Eventide Music Productions in 2006 and Octofoil Records in 2008. Maduro has appeared on compilations with Venetian Snares, Amon Tobin, Bassnectar, and Muslimgauze, and he has been featured in numerous compilations, performances, DVDs, and documentaries around the world.

In June 2006, Eventide Music Productions released Shimmer Sustain, a collection of dark world fusion electronica mixed with 8 bit video game sounds. Following the success of this release, Juno Wakes, an audio excursion into an underworld of dreaming, decay, ghosts, and processionals, was released in August 2007. In April 2008, Octofoil Records released Maduro's Siege, a dark world fusion release punctuated with Middle Eastern and South Asian progressions, crunched break beats and fragments, and industrial highlights. In October 2008, Octofoil Records released Fin de Siècle (or "end of the century" in French) a short album and a degenerative audio snapshot capturing 100 year-old band sounds, carnival and circus progressions, broken organ grinders, as well as fragmented beats, dubstep, and hip hop accents.

more info:
www.myspace.com/maduro
www.octofoil-records.com
www.myspace.com/octofoil.com -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dub Colossus - Town Called Addis


Dub Colossus- Azmari Dub (stream)- from A Town Called Addis - buy






You gotta love a guy who has taken on the professional "nom de plume" of Count Dubulah. Nick Page, formerly of global electronic pioneers, Transglobal Underground and more recently Temple of Sound has trimmed his moniker to simply Dubulah these days- but his trademark deep, dub drenched bass stye and his obvious love of melding traditional music with more modern dance and electronic grooves remains a constant in his projects. His latest musical adventure, Dub Colossus is one of my favorite world fusion releases of 2008. Dub Colossus' debut album, In a Town Called Addis, is a beautiful mash up of Ethiopian and Jamaican dub styles that magically retains the best qualities of both genres without diluting either.

We think this record is a "must hear" for all fans of global sounds and we're very excited that our friends at the wonderful Real World Records label (founded by my all time favorite artist Peter Gabriel) have let us share this music stream (not downloadable this time I'm afraid)and video so that you can be introduced to it's many unique charms.


Album Bio:

This project brings together an extraordinary but little known African musical heritage, a labour of love recording in a makeshift studio in down-town Addis Ababa and then a journey back to Real World to capture for the first time ever in the UK some of Ethiopia's finest performers.

This project is the vision of Dub Colossus - Dubulah - aka Nick Page. Composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer Nick started his music career with Michael Riley (Steel Pulse) and in 1990 formed Transglobal Underground with Tim and Hammi, produced-wrote-played six albums before leaving in 1997 to form Temple of Sound with Neil Sparkes.

Ethiopian music is the hidden gem of Africa. At the end of the Sixties and the early Seventies, Ethiopia was in the dying years of the imperial decline of Haile Selassie and the early years of a brutally repressive junta led by Mengistu. Within the confines of this stifling and constrictive environment there flowered some astonishing music. At times showing Fela Kuti's influences, in the big band sax flavour and other times a different take on regional music, this is a music that is accessible to all and has been championed by the likes of Robert Plant, Brian Eno and Elvis Costello. The style of contemporary Ethiopia music captured by Dub Colossus ranges from dreamy blues, hypnotic grooves, jazz piano and driving funk brass.

"A Town Called Addis" was inspired by meeting , writing and working with singers and musicians in Addis Ababa in August 2006,and is a collaboration between Dub Colossus (Nick Page) and these amazing musicians covering Azmari and traditional styles as well as the popular singing styles of the 60s and 70s. It seeks to combine the golden years of ethiopique beats (popular again thanks to the release of the critically acclaimed 'Ethiopique' compliation ) and ethiojazz with the dub reggae styles of early 70s reggae groups like the Abyssinians, Mighty Diamonds and so on. along with a hint of Sun Ra..." (Dub Colossus/aka Nick Page)

The first sessions took place in a breeze block hut under corrugated iron roof bombarded by the sounds of the rainy season high up on the mountain plateau where Addis is built. "...the sound of children playing, dogs barking and women washing all permeate the sessions and help the flavour of the record, albeit as ambient smoke.....Although a howling cat chasing a rat under the roof destroyed one vocal take completely...!"

We brought these unique urban field recordings home to Real World to complete the picture. In March 2008 we invited a group of outstanding performers from Addis to travel to the UK. Some of these artists are unknown talents who have never traveled outside of their country before now, while others such as singer Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe (Addis Ababa night club owner and know as the Ethiopian Edith Piaf ) and master saxophonist Feleke Hailu (a classical composer, lecturer and head of music at the Yared Music School and part of a dynastic tradition that stretches back far beyond the classic hits his father arranged for Mahmoud Ahmad in the late 1960s) have a huge reputation. They are joined by Teremag Weretow who, with his plaintive voice, playing his messenqo ( one-string fiddle) is a youthful carrier of an ancient tradition; extraordinary pianist Samuel Yirga is an exciting new discovery - a young prodigy of classical and Ethiojazz and finally the glamourous star Tsedenia Gebremarkos, winner of a Kora award as the best female singer in East Africa in 2004,

From the most primitive recording context to one of the best in the world, this project is an audio journey - and discovery of one of the most alluring, funky and seductive genres of African music. -Read the full Post-

Monday, November 24, 2008

End of Year List-mania- Part 1


The other day I was shocked to see my first "Best of 2008" list up on a blog. As mind boggling as it may be, (it certainly was to me) this crazy, topsy-turvy year is almost at an end. While it's been a challenging year in many ways, challenging times often inspire great art. I think 2008 was actually filled with some great music, films, and touring. So, in order to celebrate the outgoing year in style, I've asked a fun cross section of industry friends, artists, and producers to get creative and to list their favorites of '08. I often find recommendations from people who I respect and whose tastes I trust can turn me on to all kinds of things that I wouldn't necessarily find on my own- so maybe these will be a jumping off point for discovering some new and worthwhile things for you as well- maybe even some perfect holiday gifts.

We'll be putting these lists up in installments from now through the beginning of '09 and if you want to join in, I welcome lists from you, our readers. Just leave your suggestions in the comments section of the blog or E mail them to lists@sixdegreesrecords.com. Happy compiling!



2008- My 10 Favorite Things from a Crazy Year

Compiled by Bob Duskis- Co-founder of Six Degrees Records

Best New Singer songwriter: Bon Iver

Best Musical Return Of Some Old Friends: David Byrne & Brian Eno- Everything that Happens Will Happen Today

Best Electronica Discovery: Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts

Best Swedish Vampire Film: Let the Right One In

Best Ethiopian Dub Electronica Record by a former member of Transglobal Underground: Dub Colossus: In a Town Called Addis

Best Epic Fantasy Novel: Tie between Toll the Hounds by Steven Erickson & Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

Best Concert: Tie between David Byrne performs the music of David Byrne & Brian Eno @ Davies Symphony Hall & Robert Plant & Allison Krause @ the Greek Theater

Best New Television Show: Fringe

Best Family Moment: Weeping with my wife, daughter, brother & sister in law when Obama's win was officially announced

Best thing about 2008- It's almost over

Best World Music Releases of '08
Compiled by Charlie Gillett -host of BBC 2's Radio Program: Without Frontiers




1. Umalali: The Garifuna Women's Project
2. Nina de Fuego, by Buika
3. A Mad & Faithful Telling, by DeVotchKa
4. 3MA, by Sissoko, El Maloumi, Rajery
5. Ceu, by Ceu
6. Mali Koura, by Issa Bagayogo
7. 03, by Son of Dave
8. Rebel Woman, by Chiwoniso
9. Tchamantche, by Rokia Traore
10. The Edge of Heaven - soundtrack





Top 5 of '08

Compiled by Bob Blumer aka the Surreal Gourmet - Creator and Host of Glutton for Punishment as seen on the Food Network



concert: Goldfrap at the Orpheum Theater, L.A.
film: Mike Leigh's 'Happy Go Lucky'
city: Rekyjivak (now 50% off)
spirit: Eden Apple Cider Dessert Wine
life changing experience: Obama!




Top 5 British Festival Experiences

Compiled by Sheila Chandra,Vocal goddess and Real World recording artist




Prettiest site-The Big Chill… They are consistently the best at this.
Prettiest place to visit-East Neuk Festival (Scotland)…. Incredibly beautiful countryside and villages
Quaintest and most ‘English’- Wychwood….I don’t know of another festival with a ‘tea garden’ right in the middle of it, complete with posies on the tables and gingham tablecloths
Politest- Cambridge Folk Festival…. Full to bursting and yet amazingly good natured and courteous audience
Performance I most enjoyed -Jeremy Hardy (comedian) at Glastonbury Festival. He said he was only testing material out but he was brilliant, as always. -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ursula Rucker


Free Download - Ursula Rucker - Read Between the Lines (FiveSix Media)

Ursula Rucker is one cool lady. While I generally am not a big fan of spoken word recitation over music, there's something so darn "musical" and sensual about the way Rucker lays it down that I find her irresistible. That, coupled with the fact that she is always saying something thought provoking and downright "smart" makes any new release from her worth celebrating. Executive produced by Ursula with our buddy King Britt and featuring contributions from 4 Hero's Dego, Rich Medina and Tim Motzer, her new release, Ruckus (great title) is possibly the best thing she's ever done. King Britt has released the record on his own new Five Six Media imprint and has been nice enough to give us this slinky track that he produced "Read Between the Lines" to wet your appetite for the rest of the release

Be sure to check out King's hot new on-line store here and keep up with all of the interesting things he's doing at www.fivesixmedia.com


Ursula Rucker Press Release

The queen of the spoken soul scene is back, after a 2 yr recording break. Continuously touring to spread the words of hope, Ursula went back into the studio to come up the opus that is The Ruckus Soundsysdom!

Working with an amazing array of producers, Dego (4Hero), Rich Medina, Tim Motzer and of course King Britt , she continued on her quest for sonic bliss. The treat this album serves is the introduction of some of brooklyn’s best female producer, something Ursula has always wanted. They include the electric Rucyl Mills, sound assassin Amatus and avant-soul duo FISHEYE.

The first single Read Between the Lines, is getting fantastic accolades and spins by music lovers worldwide! Executive Produced by King Britt and Ursula herself, the album brings together raw emotion, love and sensuality, unlike any other Ursula album.

So all aboard the Ruckus Soundsysdom! TURN IT UP ! -Read the full Post-

Monday, November 17, 2008

l'Orchestre A-Dakar


Free MP3- Lay Lay by L'Orchestra A-Dakar


One of my favorite things to do with this blog is to give exposure to
new and deserving groups that are just starting to try and get their
music out into the industry. Baz Mattie, one of the two Amsterdam
based musical architects of l'Orchestre A-Dakar, has been
corresponding with me for quite some time now. I have been
consistently impressed with this lovely African/electronica project
and am happy to be sharing a track with you now. I suspect that you
will be hearing much more from this project in the future, just
remember, you heard it here first.


Bio:

What is an African singer from Senegal doing in an electronic
soundscape created by a duo from Amsterdam? The answer: l’Orchestre
A-Dakar.

Baz mattie met Mola Sylla in 2000 during a tour with Chris Hinze, and
was impressed with his distinctive voice and melodies. Out of
curiosity, Mattie began to work on a remix of one of Sylla’s tracks.
On the face of it, Sylla’s voice and Mattie’s electronic music
promised to work well together, but the results were even better than
either of them expected.

Spurred on by this nice surprise, they decided to collaborate
further, creating the tracks on this debut album in the same manner.
Sylla’s demos, in which he accompanied himself on instruments such
as the Mbira and the Xalan, were re-edited and placed in a completely
different context.

Plaintive, earthy vocals by Mola Sylla, sung in Wolof, the language
of Senegal, are fused with a swirling, pulsating dark soundscape of
electronic beats and distortion by Baz Mattie and Frans Molenaar,
from Amsterdam. This is urban music that refuses to be geographically
fixed, and sits well with our ever more cosmopolitan world.
l’Orchestre A-Dakar do not shy away from experimentalism: long
tracks built from a wide sound palette encompassing the above-
mentioned electronic sounds and distortion, as well as modern
classical music, a complete string orchestra and choir. Yet, the
music is never inaccessible, as it unfurls itself slowly, with warmth
and purity of spirit, creating a comfortable cocoon for your mind to
build a succession of pictures. So compelling is this fusion of
disparate elements that you do not even need to understand Wolof to
be drawn in.

This timeless debut CD is the end result of the incredible journey
through the musically imaginative world of the collective,
l’Orchestre A-Dakar.

http://www.orchestre-a-dakar.nl -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bruce Lee vs. Karsh Kale and the Midival Punditz











Talk about dream gigs! Our very own Karsh Kale was recently commissioned to compose and perform a new score for the classic Kung Fu flick, Enter the Dragon. (a movie that I vividly remember sneaking into when I was not old enough to get into R rated movies and which rocked my young world BIG TIME!). Karsh worked with the Midival Punditz to take the score out of it's original "kitschy" direction and straight into the world of serious electro-action. The video tells the story and gives you a good idea of how cool the end result is. -Read the full Post-

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kaya Project - ....And So it Goes





Free Download - Kaya Project -...And So it Goes

Seb Taylor is a very talented guy. Whether he is recording under the guises of Hibernation, Digitalis, Angel Tears or Kaya Project (in which he collaborates with Natasha Chamberlain), his music always incorporates a wide palette of tasteful electronics, exotic rhythms and sounds from around the planet. As a follow up to our Interchill label profile, we are pleased to be offering you a free track from the excellent new Kaya Project release, ...And So it Goes. Six Degrees fans may be familiar with Kaya Project from their track "Twin Soul" which we included on our Arabian Travels 2 compilation. Here's a chance to dig deeper into the musical world of one of global fusions more interesting outfits.

Artist Profile:
Kaya Project is the musical incarnation of Seb Taylor and Natasha Chamberlain. Based in the UK, the duo has achieved a world renowned name via their first two albums 'Walking Through' and 'Elixir' released on Interchill Records in 2004 and 2005 respectively. A skilled musician, Seb plays guitar and other instruments on many of the Kaya Project tracks as well as adeptly handling the programming and production. Natasha contributes vocals, keyboard and flute throughout the compositions. Over the years they have performed Kaya Project live sets at events in Japan, Canada, the US and Australia. Since the previous 2005 album release, 'Elixir', Seb has been busy working on music for television, including the award winning BBC Natural World Documentary 'Buddha, Bees & the Giant Hornet Queen', as well as composing original music for commercials and TV shows. Seb has also been concentrating on his breakbeat project 'Digitalis' with recent releases on Ministry of Sound, Sinister Recordings and Sound of Habib. His various electronic music projects have previously had BBC Radio One airplay from the likes of Annie Nightingale, John Peel, Danny Rampling, Pathaan and Brandon Block. Also due for imminent release is the long-awaited Hibernation album on Aleph Zero Records. The Hibernation project delves into more experimental electronic territory as has been heard on compilations from Interchill (Arcana, Bliminal), New Land Music (Max Chillroom) and Aleph Zero (Midnight Soul Dive).

For more info visit www.kayaproject.com -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did!




Free Download - Rara Avis - "Uplifted by Hope"


It's a great day for all of us today. A day that reminds us that hope is not always foolish and that sometimes the right thing DOES happen. These are sentiments that had been crushed in many of us after eight years of darkness and despair. I am so happy that I could share this moment with my daughter and that the flame of her enthusiasm, optimism and hope has been fanned by this, rather than crushed by the alternative.

After the Obama victory had been officially announced, I checked my E Mail, knowing that messages would begin pouring in from friends and family. Among the many happy messages I found this wonderful track that Rara Avis had spontaneously composed, recorded and posted on the net. It is called "Uplifted by Hope" and I think it just about sums it up for all of us.

Here's to better days ahead-




This track was inspired by several things. Most of all the word HOPE.

Back in my early 20's, an amazing teacher named David Goulet was apprenticing me to work on terminal cancer patients using sound and yoga therapy combined. It was an amazing experience that brought me deep into some timeless truths, for all is revealed when death is at the door. One day when we were reviewing a patient with nearly 700 tumors in her abdomen, he looked up at me and said "The best thing we can do for her right now is give her back a sense of hope... people always need to have hope." It struck me as so simple, yet so profound. Our ability to respond to life threatening situations and highly stressful times by relaxing and opening to the possibilities has everything to do with maintaining our connection with the possibility of a positive outcome... even when everything both inside and out tells us otherwise.

The past few months have been a very stressful time indeed for many of us. Almost no one I know can say they haven't been highly affected by the political, economic and social climate occurring here in the US and around the world. That being said, the Mantra of the people I admire the most was always to have HOPE. It was so palpable yesterday that I was literally bursting with it... a sense that somehow things could actually change for the better, and we would wake up today feeling a little brighter, a little more optimistic.

Collectively, the power of optimism and desire for positive change is exactly the kind of miraculous shift we need right now. Not only for ourselves and future generations, but for all life on this planet. The time for suffering and wreck-less competition is at an end, and though we have a long way to go I felt, and always feel, that creating music from my heart, from the deepest place I have inside of me, and simply giving it away for free is the best thing I can do to support this epic and momentous change.

So here's to creating change through the power of positive perspective.

The other inspiration I had for this track is more of a personal issue with regards to simply playing my guitar. In today's world of techno-enhanced song writing, digital instruments and endless sample libraries, it's often all too easy to forget about the power of playing your instrument, whatever that may be. I was born a guitar player and will die a guitar player... it's a huge part of my soul that I love and cherish which often gets put aside in the quest for more beats! So I want to thank my two biggest axe supporters, my collaborator, producer and dearest friend Criag Kohland, and none other than Six Degrees co-founder Bob Duskis - both of whom always tell me - "just play your guitar man!~"

So - it is with great pleasure and honor that I offer up this new tune - written in the late hours of the election buzz, yesterday afternoon - may you be "Uplifted by Hope".

Please download it, share it, pass it along - send it to your friends, family and loved ones - even if they say they hate electronic music... i find that coming from the heart always converts those who believe they are closed to something new.

Blessings to the new times,
Rara Avis -Read the full Post-

Monday, November 3, 2008

Alice Russell - Pot of Gold




Free Download - Alice Russell - Got the Hunger? - from Pot of Gold
Buy on iTunes

I'm not sure when I first heard Alice Russell's voice. It might have been on one of her early collaborations with Quantic, or her version of "Seven Nation Army" that she did with the group Nostalgia 77. While I'm not clear on the exact moment of the revelation, I DO remember my response, which was something along the lines of "Holy mother of mercy, WHO the hell is that?".

Before Amy Winehouse and waaaaay before Duffy made retro-raspy voiced soul safe for the airwaves again, Alice Russell was belting out vocal performances that she seemed to be channeling from some 70 year old, soul diva from another era. After a series of goose bump inducing vocal cameos on various projects with other producers, Alice found her musical soul mate and foil in TM Juke ,a young brit wunderkid producer and instrumentalist who effortlessly seems to embrace soul, funk, hip-hop and jazz influences and whose arrangement sense mixes the best from the past with the street smarts of the present. Together, Russell and Juke have whipped up one of the freshest sounds in recent memory and put all of the pieces together into Alice's latest solo record, Pot of Gold.

We are incredibly excited to be releasing this record in North & South America and happy to be slipping you this free taste of it's many pleasures. -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: The Value of Free Part 2


It seems my last column about the de-valuation of music over the last few years has struck a bit of a nerve. Not only did we get numerous comments to the blog itself but many people contacted me directly with messages of support as well as points of disagreement. That's fine with me. Much of what I hope to accomplish here is to start a dialogue and maybe make a few folks think in a new way about a subject that is a constant "elephant in the room" for many of us in the music business. I've gotta tell you that I'm getting tired of having friends and family look at me guiltily as they discuss the new CD that some work mate burned for them for free or as they tell me about the hot new blog they found where you can download entire albums for nothing.

I'd like to take this opportunity to dig a little deeper into the topic and clarify my stance on some of these issues. First of all, I don't expect people to NEVER get music for free. Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid the above mentioned, home made free CD that a well intentioned friend has made for you. People like to share music. It seems to be something that is hard wired into us and I think that within reason it is a great thing. As long as music defines people and inspires passionate responses, it will continue to be a relevant thing in our lives. We like to turn our friends on to the music that excites us and we like to find like-minded listeners who are into what we are. The CD burner phenomenon can be a great way to promote music and to turn others on to things that they might not find out about otherwise. I never bought into the whole "Home Taping is Killing the Music Business" rap and in my younger days I have made more than a few "brilliant" mix tapes of my own for friends and women I was hoping to impress with the breadth of my coolness and musical knowledge. I generally feel the same way about blogs that post individual tracks, especially ones that focus on eclectic music that has little or no chance of traditional radio exposure. Here's the thing though, all of this can be part of a healthy way of spreading the word about good music IF (and this is a pretty big if folks) at some point the loop is completed with some form of commerce being involved for the artist or the label. What I mean by this is, if you love the first Bombay Dub Orchestra CD that your office mate was nice enough to burn for you, then make it a point to BUY the new one when you see it up on i-tunes. If that Pacifika track you downloaded from the latest hipster blog has been rocking your i-pod for the last few weeks, then go and PAY to see the band when they come to play live in your town. Better yet, BUY the CD when you're at the show. Here's a novel thought: with the holidays coming just around the corner, why don't you make a list of all of those great new bands that you've discovered via the blogs and BUY copies of the CDs for your friends and loved ones that you know would like them. I could go on and on but you're a smart crew, you get my point. Exposing people to music by making it available to them for free is a valid concept-but the final link in the chain of the process HAS to at some point involve someone at some point putting money in the pocket of the artists and labels whose sweat and blood are all over that music.

Here at Six Degrees, we don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk. In recent months we have: given away an entire album's worth of tracks from the Real Tuesday Weld via E Music, given away a 10 song sampler for Hispanic Heritage Month in conjunction with the Latin oriented site Batanga and given away a Six Degrees Digital Sampler that anyone could get for free with purchase at Amazon.com's new digital store. All of this is in addition to the many tracks we offer (all with various label's permission) here on our blog and the fact that we offer one free track from EVERY one of our releases. Clearly we are not "buy or die" Nazis here at the label. We are consumers and fans ourselves and I know for a fact that some of the best ways that I've been turned on to new music are through receiving free tracks. Still, we are a business and we really like being able to pay our artists royalties so that they can feed their families and we're kind of partial to making payroll for our employees and providing health insurance for them as well.

In closing this latest rant, let me just ask you to think about it. Take a moment to take stock of what music has meant to you and your quality of life. Remember that behind every record, every slamming electronic floor-filler, every heart breakingly beautiful ballad or hair raising rock tune, there is an artist who deserves to be compensated for their work.

Bring on your comments because in our next column I will print and address the best of them -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eccodek




Eccodek - Free Download - Behind the Mask Buy on itunes

A few years ago I was sent the first release from Guelph's Eccodek by his manager Ian Menzies. Ian's been a champion on the global scene for many years now as someone who has worked on the label side of things as well as in management and as a DJ. If he tells me he thinks I'm going to like something, he's generally right and world/dub/electronic producer Andrew McPherson aka Eccodek was no exception. Eccodek's music has only grown deeper and more lovely since I heard that early CD and he's just released a fine new album through White Swan Records who have been kind enough to give us a track to share with you today.

Shivaboom is the third chapter in the still-unfolding, cross-cultural story of Canadian sonic sculptorEccodek (aka Andrew McPherson). Increasingly recognized for his lush, aural panoramas steeped in dubwise bass, driving grooves and soaring melodies, Eccodekhas become a potent and sought-after voice on the global dubscene, joining the rarefied ranks of such musical alchemists as Cheb i Sabbah and Gaudi. Shivaboom’s nine tracks reflect the newest facet of Eccodek’smusical persona: the DJ (the album borrows its title from thename of Eccodek’s monthly DJ residency in his Guelph, Ontariohome). While as a multi-instrumentalist McPherson remainsdeeply committed to the organic process of writing andcollaborating with fellow artists, in his new guise as DJ he keepsa careful eye on the dance floor, where the proper alchemy ofelectronica and global sounds can move the room in powerful new ways.Bringing Eccodek’s potent brew of bone rattling bass, hypnotic grooves and soaring, exotic melodies tolife are Mali’s Mansa Sissoko and Jah Youssouf, who also provide stunning instrumental support onkora and ngoni; the seductive and beguiling voices of Juno-winning ghazal singer Kiran Ahluwalia andTurkish songstress Meral Mert; and the mesmerizing talent of Indo/Canadian classical singer, Onkar Singh. Through his own records as well as recent remixes for the likes of Vieux Farka Touré and Turkey’s Doublemoon Records, as a featured artist on the world renowned global chill series, Buddha Bar, or as the only Canadian contributor to National Geographic’s GeoRemix Project, Eccodek has forged asound for our modern, culturally diverse times – an accomplishment reflected by his receiving 2007’s Canadian Music Award for Favourite World Artist. Like its predecessors More Africa In Us (2005) and Voices Have Eyes (2007), Eccodek’s Shivaboomechoes the ancient past while keeping a conscious, culturally inclusive eye to the future – furthering aglobal dub journey that takes cultural authenticity over the cutting edge. -Read the full Post-

Monday, October 27, 2008

Coldcut & TV Sheriff "Revolution '08"



This is not a political blog and I have no intention of turning it into one. (If you're looking for a great one check out my old buddy Krup's blog, I'm Just Sayin'. With just a week away from the election here in the States, my 10 year old daughter turned to me this morning and told me how serious she is about moving to Canada if McCain wins. I'm sure those of you who are parents have experienced the despair of seeing the world your kid's are going to inherit, seemingly spin out of control. Screwing up my world is one thing, screwing things up for my kid brings out a fierce, protective rage that is a new and unpleasant sensation for me, made all the more horrific by the sense of powerlessness that accompanies it.

As we all wait with baited breath for the outcome of this increasingly surreal circus that is the march to election day, I can't resist featuring this incredible video put together by one of my favorite musical teams Coldcut and audio video vigilante TV Sheriff. They describe the piece as: "A drum+bass powered all-out AV assault on an American media machine now in psychotic overdrive for the Presidential election. A 10000-frame crash edit comedy celebration of the blatant corruption, warmongering, florid insanity and plain good old smelly bullsh*t that : characterizes the cultural landscape of the world's most confused country."

While people have been sending me seemingly thousands of "You Tube" links with a wide array of political content of late, there is something about this video that seems to perfectly capture the insanity of this campaign. I offer it here for your perusal in the hopes that better days are ahead for all of our children. -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Labels We Love: Interchill Records




Free Downloads
EatStatic Pharaoh
Liquid Stranger Familiar and Unknown
Liquid Stranger Myspace
Eat Static homepage

Continuing our mission to let you know about great music from around
the planet, today we focus on ambient/ electronic
label, Interchill Records,which is based between Salt Spring Island and Nelson, BC.
In a market glutted with "chill out" compilations that range from
mediocre to horrendous, I first became aware of Interchill through a
series of their early comps, all of which blind sided me with their
consistent quality and innovation. Honestly, I had become so used to
bad "Cafe del Buddha Bar" knock offs, that it took a few releases for
me to fully realize the depth and beauty of the tracks on collections
like Magnetic Blue, Northern Circuits and the two volumes of Earth
Octave Lounge. Interchill's artist releases have also proven to be
impeccably reliable in their quality. From earlier signings like
Adham Shaikh
, Kaya Project and Gaudi to the more recent additions to
the roster like Liquid Stranger , Mauxuam and Ashtech ,the
sounds may be getting a bit "crunchier" but the quality has remained
impressive.

After corresponding with label founder Andrew Ross Collins for many
years, I finally got to meet him and label cohort Naasko at a
memorable Japanese lunch in Vancouver which also included Gaudi, Rara
Avis and Adham Shaikh. It was a lovely afternoon spent with like-
minded people who were in the music business for all of the right
reasons- the kind of get together I wish I got to do more often.

If you are a fan of quality electronic music that isn't afraid to be
deep and beautiful and you are not familiar yet with Interchill, you
are in for a real treat. If you thought the label was only about
"chilled" sounds, then you need to explore some of their more recent
output which has moved into satisfyingly adventurous directions.

Andrew and Naasko have been kind enough to offer us TWO tracks for
your listening pleasure. Eat Static's "Pharaoh" is a great slice of
Middle Eastern influenced electronica and Liquid Stranger's "Familiar
& Unknown" is a beautiful dub/electro track. Hopefully they will give
you enough of a taste of where this label is coming from to inspire
you to explore further. -Read the full Post-