Friday, August 29, 2008

Niyaz Nine Heavens is #1 on the European World Chart

Niyaz' new release, Nine Heavens has climbed to the top of the European World Music Charts for the month of August! This chart is compiled by an influential group of Europe's top radio broadcasters.

Nice Heavens has already risen to #1 on the i-tunes World Music charts and well as the CMJ (College Music Journal) World Radio charts. Congrats to the band!

World Music Charts Europe Top 5- August 2008

1- Nine Heavens- Niyaz (Six Degrees)
2- Rokia Traore- Tchamantche- (Universal)
3- Rajery, Ballake, Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi- 3MA (Contre-Jour)
4- Rupa & the April Fishes- Extraordinary Rendition (Cumbancha)
5- Warsaw Village Band- Upmixing (Jaro)

In celebration of this chart topping achievement we are offering this free download of Niyaz' Acoustic version of their track "Ishq -Love & the Veil."

Get the FREE download

Download Instructions:
On a PC: right click, select "Save This Link As..."
and choose the destination for the file on your computer.
On a Mac: option-click on the link. File will download to your desktop. -Read the full Post-

Womex Top Label Award

In other news worth celebrating, Six Degrees Records has been awarded a "Top Label" Award from WOMEX the good folks who put on the annual World Music Expo which is pretty much THE gathering place for people in the global music business)

We're pleased to be ranked in the Top 10 since we don't even really consider ourselves a "World Music" label.

Big congrats to our friend Jacob Edgar's relatively young label Cumbancha who was this year's #1 label. Cumbancha releases lovely music that is well worth your attention.


1) Cumbancha (USA)
Chart-topping CDs:
The Garifuna Women’s Project: Umalali; Habib Koité: Afriki; Rupa & The
April Fishes: Extraordinary Rendition

2) Sterns (UK)
Chart-topping CDs:
Les Amazones de Guinea : Wamato ; Tabu Ley Rochereau : The Voice of Lightness;
Mbilia Bel: Bel Canto – Best of the Genidia Years

3) Crammed / Ziriguiboom (Belgium)
Chart-topping CDs:
Taraf de Haidouks: Maskarada ; DJ Dolores : 1 Real ; Kasai All Stars :
Congotronics 3: In the 7th Moon

4) Doublemoon (Turkey)
Mercan Dede: 800; Various Artists: Doublemoon Remixed

5) Naïve (France)
Melingo: Maldito Tango; Hadouk Trio: Baldamore

6) Riverboat / World Music Network (UK)
Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Chronicles; Bob Brozman Orchestra: Lumiere

7) Network Medien (Germany)
Djivan Gasparyan: The Soul of Armenia; Various Artists: Desert Blues 3

8) World Circuit (UK)
Orchestra Baobad: Made in Dakar; Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations

9) Six Degrees (USA)
Niyaz: Nine Heavens ; Issa Bagayogo: Mali Koura

10) Lusafrica (Cape Verde / France)
Tcheka: Lonji; Teofilo Chantre: Viaja

11) Piranha (Germany)
Watcha Clan: Diaspora Hi-Fi

12) Contre-Jour (Belgium)
Project 3MA (Rajery/Ballake Sissoko/Driss el Maloumi): 3MA

13) Wrasse (UK)
Sa Dingding : Alive

14) World Connection (The Netherlands)
Neco Novellas: New Dawn – Ku Khata

15) Galileo MC (Germany / Spain)
Al Andaluz Project: Deus et Diabolus

16) Jaro Medien (Germany)
Dona Rosa : Alma Livre

17) Temps (Spain)
Lidia Pujol: Els Amants de Lilith

18) The Act Company (Germany)
Huong Thanh & Nguyen Le: Fragile Beauty

19) Nonesuch (USA)
Youssou N’Dour : Rokku Mi Rokka

20) Rounder (USA)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss : Raising Sand -Read the full Post-

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gaudi tour recap

Gaudi recently played a series of live dates here in the Bay Area. First, he tore the roof off the Catacombs room at Club Temple last Wednesday night. The sound was great and the dance-floor was rocking all night long. In fact, the bass was so powerful, more than one male audience member commented that they could actually feel it vibrating their genitalia! (No lie!) Thanks to Mike Stevens at Temple for putting this date together.

A few days later Gaudi traveled over the Golden Gate bridge to play the wonderful monthly Groove Garden event hosted by our friend DJ Dragonfly.

Upon his return to the UK Gaudi put together this new video featuring highlights of his 2008 touring with special guest cameos from Dr. Israel, Dub Gabriel and others.

-Read the full Post-

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: Radio Radio Part 3

At first it was like a dream working at free-form rock station WIBA FM Madison. As an announcer, I had no restrictions on what I could play. The first song I played on my first show I filled in for was Peter Gabriel's "And Through The Wire" from his third release (the one where his face is melting). I still have a decaying cassette with the "air check" of that first program. I fondly remember playing tracks by Frank Zappa, Brand X, Brian Eno, the Roches and many others that you would be shot for playing on commercial radio these days.

When I got my first full time job working the late shift from 11pm to 5am I thought my head was going to explode with excitement. I remember cashing my first pay check and thinking that I would have paid THEM for the opportunity to be on the air. Working the night shift is a strange and surreal thing however. First and foremost, when you stay up all night and try to sleep all day, you are fighting against thousands of years of basic evolutionary sleep patterns. There is something very fundamentally "correct" about sleeping when the sun is down that has served humanity well for a very long time. I found out quickly that I just never slept as well during the day and I never really felt rested or refreshed. This was something that no amount of "black out" curtains or earplugs seemed to help. Then there's the fact that everyone else you know is on a completely different schedule. It's hard to maintain friendships, let alone any kind of romantic relationships when you live the nocturnal life. Trying to avoid that, I switched back to a normal schedule on the weekends...a big mistake which almost threw my system into complete shock, turning me into a narcoleptic zombie.

Aside from the effects on my sleeping habits, there was the curious matter of the late night listeners. Not everyone that's up at that time is insane- but a large portion of them are at least a bit..unusual. I quickly became a favorite of every poor soul that like me had to work the late shifts. My regulars included employees from 7-Eleven, custodians, night watchmen and drug dealers from across the city. I had one guy who called me every night and yelled into the phone "Prince. Now!" and then slammed the receiver down... that was it- EVERY NIGHT! Like I said...unusual. (and no, I never gave him the satisfaction of playing him Prince- I'm just perverse that way).

I could fill fifty columns with stories about the night shift. There were police men who were supposed to be working the night shift but instead came and hung out with me three nights a week because they thought it was cool to be at a radio station. There were women who called up with invitations to come over after my shift (even though they didn't have the faintest idea what I looked like). There were party boys who drove by the station and left a case of beer for me when I refused to let them in. (of course this would be the night my boss had a fight with his wife and came to the station at 3am only to find their "offering" on the station doorstep). Most of all there were lots of really, really lonely people. People who could not sleep because they were bedeviled by any number of demons. Sometimes they were soft and sad and sometimes they were loud and angry but they were always lonely and music was barely helping them get through another night. I had more than one caller tell me they were contemplating suicide. (I kept the number of the local suicide hot- line right by the phone). There's something about the late night hours that brings out the desperation in all of us. They don't call it "the dark night of the soul" for nothing.

All of this weirdness was bearable because I was young and I was loving what I was doing. Then came the day I came into work only to find a printed out "playlist" outlining all of the songs that I was required to play that night and every night thereafter. The days of "free-form" radio had ended-

To be continued... -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My brother in law (who obviously knows me quite well) sent me the following comic strip from Dustin Glick. Let's just say that it "resonated" strongly with me. I suspect more than a few of you can relate as well.

Image Hosted by
Comic strip courtesy of Dustin Glick
For more of his inspired humor go to -Read the full Post-

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free Noize: Blissful Virtuous

One of the things that we are excited about doing with this blog is to turn you on to some of the great non Six Degrees music that comes through our offices. As you can imagine we get sent a HUGE amount of music from around the planet. I always tell people that the most frustrating thing for me is not how much bad music we get- but how much GOOD music we receive that we can't release. Through our weekly radio show and now this blog, we hope to give a platform for the best of these projects.

If you have a project that you would like to expose through Global Noize please get in touch with us through our comments section. Leave your E Mail address and we will get back to you when we can.

I got the Blissful Virtuous CD in the mail over a year ago now and it remains one of my favorite demo submissions ever. I'm happy to see that the duo are still going strong and was thrilled to find out that they were cool with us featuring them on our blog. The band describes themselves like this:

Blissful Virtuous’ - Bliss’ed out world grooves & intuitive beats formed with care and chaos. Truly original sounds, blessed and influenced by the past. A massive journey of sounds, sessions and searching; With its roots in Zimbabwe, recordings and remixes have happened worldwide from Borneo to Sheffield, Tanzania to Providence. A collision of minds and music. Roo, running headlong - electribe under one arm & mac under the other, blissful with his delays, wires and weirdness - into Mark - arms full of instruments, head full of visions, and virtuous in his knowledge of this world’s music.
'A mutual lack of understanding of each others musical faith meant that we were captivated by each other’s talent. We were catalysts for each other'. If Mark played a riff on the mbira, Roo would catch it in some delays and work out beats and new patterns that worked for him. 'We'd each take turn in pulling apart then rebuilding what the other had done until we ended up with these amazing soundtracks'.
“Our first album ‘mbira post’ was the start of something great, and since then we’ve been lucky enough to grace stages around the world playing some prolific shows. We’re just back from supporting Pops Mohammed, Tarika Bé, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland, and incredible show in an magical venue, before that we were the first band in over 250 years to play a show at the British Museum in London (as part of Africa Live). Now we hear that we’re running high in the specialist charts on LA’s KCRW, it just get’s better and better.”
The second album from blissful virtuous will be available early 2009. Mbira Post is currently available from the bands website at or from i-tunes.

For a free download of the track “Nhema Swing” from Blissful Virtuous click here

For Blissful Virtuous myspace page here
Email is:

-Read the full Post-

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Real Tuesday Weld’s North American Tour

We were recently graced with a series of North American live dates from Stephen Coates (aka the Real Tuesday Weld, aka The Clerkenwell Kid aka the Coolest Guy alive). Stephen and his dashing band won over crowds across the continent with their unique multi- media show.

The Real Tuesday Weld @ The Grand Performances (photo credit Ryan Barkan)

Stephen also performed live on KCRW's popular Morning Becomes Eclectic program:

Pat Berry ( co-founder of Six degrees Records) and The Real Tuesday Weld (photo courtesy of KCRW). Stephen says Pat looks like a young Peter Falk.

Nic Harcourt of KCRW with The Real Tuesday Weld (photo courtesy of KCRW)

The Real Tuesday Weld live on KCRW in audio and video here

In other Real Tuesday Weld news: Acclaimed Russian animator Alex Budovskiy's whacked out new video "Last Time in Clerkenwell" is burning up the views at You Tube's screening room. Stephen and Alex met when Alex wrote him as a fan telling him the Real Tuesday Weld song "Bathtime in Clerkenwell" had inspired him to make a video. When Stephen saw the actual video he was blown away. That video went on to win many awards including a "Best Animated Short" award at Sundance. This new video is the sequel to that masterpiece and is already following in its footsteps by racking up a number of impressive awards as well as critical raves. The video features the Real Tuesday Weld track "Cloud Cuckooland".

For more info on The Real Tuesday Weld click here

"Last Time in Clerkenwell" award credits:

award winning video by Alex Budovskiy on YouTube's Screening Room :

For a FREE download of The Real Tuesday Weld "Over the Hillsides" click here -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: Radio Radio Part 2

When I went off to college in 1977, I was convinced that I was going to be a famous FM radio DJ. One of the reasons I decided to go to school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison was because it's Radio, TV & Film program had a great reputation. Once I got to the school however, I was shocked to find that the only thing passing for a college radio station was a run down "carrier current" station called WSRM. "Carrier current" means that the station was not actually broadcast over the airwaves but was only available in the dorms. Since Madison is a huge school, this wouldn't have been so bad if the large dorm population actually listened to the station. It turned out however that nobody cared about what was going on at WSRM and the stations were not promoted to the students at all. Listenership was so bad that one night I got on the air and announced that I would give away $100 to the first person to call me on the air... nobody called.

Thinking that it was criminal that a University of the size and caliber of Madison didn't have a real college station, a group of us got together and formed an organization with the catchy and inspiring title, "Students for Progressive Radio" or "SPR". Our rallying slogan was "Make Waves" (Get it, as in radio waves). Despite impressive efforts to petition the school, some great benefit concerts (including one by the Police & XTC!) and some really cool T-shirts and buttons, we made no headway and to this day there is no student run station at the school.

Looking for a real radio outlet, I volunteered as an intern at the popular rock station in town. WIBA FM was an album oriented, free-form FM station which billed itself as "Radio Free Madison". The station had absolutely NO format, the DJ's picked all of their own music, said what they wanted to say and basically had free rein during their individual shows. WIBA FM was so cool that at 6pm every week night, they had a popular block of programming they called "The Quiet Hour" where they played a bunch of mellow music that ranged from classic early ECM (Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny) to singer songwriter stuff. I guess the idea was to present mellow music for you to have dinner to. The thought of a commercial rock station devoting an hour of air time to such a thing these days is beyond preposterous.

I worked my way up through the ranks at WIBA FM from an intern to a substitute announcer (as the only Jew at the station, I was always good for filling in during Christmas), to a part time weekend shift. A week after I graduated college my boss, program director Dave Ervin, offered me a full time job DJing the overnight slot, shook my hand and said:

"Congratulations you are one of 1% of the population that has gotten a full time job in your chosen profession, right out of college"

Thus began my first full time job, DJ'ing on a free-form rock station from 11pm to 5am, 5 days a week. Starting salary: (the princely sum of) $12,000 a year!

To be continued...

-Read the full Post-

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Six Degrees Records - Best of the bay winner for Best Local Record Label

We are proud as punch to announce that Six Degrees Records has been named "Best Local Record Label" in our local weekly paper the Guardian's annual "Best of the Bay Awards"

"Dedicated to the sweet and sexy sounds of international genre-bending, Six Degrees offers the best in contemporary music from across the globe"

-Bay Guardian

-Read the full Post-

Monday, August 18, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: Radio, Radio part 1

I hope that by now most of you are familiar with our weekly internet radio program that we call Six Degrees Traveler. I host the broadcast which can be found on Apple i-tunes (under the "eclectic" and "electronica" categories on their "radio" section) and through Over the course of 162 episodes of the show, I have tried very hard to make it more than just another "Global Grooves" program and to instead embrace the spirit of the glory days of "genre-hopping/ free-form radio". I know it dates me as a relic but I can't help it, I pine for the good old days of progressive radio. You see, deep within the breast of this jaded record business survivor, beats the heart of a free-form radio disc jockey. In fact, in another lifetime, before I entered into the world of record label shenanigans, I was fortunate enough to work as a radio DJ at the end of FM radio's glorious format free days.

I caught the radio bug early, growing up on Long Island, New York listening to Alison Steele (, the late night DJ on WNEW FM. Allison called herself "the Night bird" and she would start every program by reading some cosmic poetry over a bed of spacey music. At the end of the poem she would drop her voice into a sensual purr and intone:

"Come, fly with me...Alison Steele, the Night bird on WNEW FM".

I can't imagine I was the only 11 year old male who was excited by more than just the music she played.

My path in life was further solidified by the fact that my high school actually had it's own 10 watt FM radio station, WKWZ Syosset. What an unbelievable opportunity to dip my toes into the waters of broadcasting! The station's faculty advisor was an amazingly cool, young teacher by the name of Fred Zodda. Fred was one of those influential figures that sometimes step into a young person's life and make a huge difference in how they see themselves and the world. (Big shout outs to all of the great teachers out there!) Somehow Fred knew how to focus and channel the creative energy of a bunch of raw, untrained teenagers, giving us enough rope to hang ourselves but always letting us know that he was there with a safety net if we fell flat on our faces (which we frequently did). I ventured down into that radio station as a terrified high school freshman and within a few years I was the station manager,hosting a weekly Saturday night music and talk program called "Flight Into the Night" (shades of Alison Steele).

Was I any good? Of course not! Did I learn a hellovalot? You bet. In fact, by the time I left high school, I was positive that working in radio was what I wanted to do with my life. Little did I know that the days of free-form radio were numbered and the clock of corporate bean counters was ticking away.

To be continued...

photos:Alison Steele
(The Nightbird)

-Read the full Post-

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: Why we Blog

I remember vividly the first time I heard the term “blog”. My business partner Pat Berry brought up the then relatively new phenomenon in a Six Degrees marketing meeting.

“Have you guys been hearing about these on line political blogs that people are talking about?” he asked us all.

Not only had I not heard about blogs, but the word sounded suspiciously like some unpleasant bodily function (“I ate something bad last night that made me blog”) or an altered state of mind (“man, I had so much to drink last night, I was completely blogged).

In the years since Pat’s question was met with blank stares, blogging has become an international phenomenon. What started primarily as a new on line journalistic outlet has morphed into a ubiquitous out pouring of “net chatter” about every possible subject under the sun. It seems like everyone with access to a computer is publishing their every thought and opinion for the entertainment of an often imagined community that has been dubbed, the “global blog-sphere.” Let’s face it, chances are good that you have a blog or you know someone who does.

These days there are blogs about food, blogs about books, blogs about knitting and of course a seemingly infinite number of blogs about music. Music blogs have bred like bunnies across the net. These days you can read about everything from pre-war blues to classic disco and often download free tracks as well. One could argue that the best music blogs have replaced radio as a means of discovering new music. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing has become largely irrelevant. It just is. It’s part of the ever-changing landscape that makes up the music industry in 2008. I tend to think that any time people are so passionate about music they want to get on a soap box and trumpet their latest find or talk about some long out of print classic, it’s generally a positive phenomenon.

So does the world really need another record company sponsored blog? Sure, why the heck not. If you like our label and the kind of genre-defying philosophy we espouse, this is probably as good a way as any for us to keep in contact with you on a regular basis, get you some cool free music and hopefully turn you on to some things that you might not hear about in other ways.

It’s an exceedingly whacky time to be working in the music business and for my part I hope to share in this column some of the “behind the scenes” madness that we experience everyday. I’ll try my hardest to keep it entertaining and I have no doubts that you’ll let me know if I don’t. In fact, we’d love to make this whole thing as interactive as possible, so we welcome any questions, comments and requests that you might have. Don’t think of it as homework, think of it as a dialogue.

So here we go, without further preamble, let’s make some noize. -Read the full Post-

GAUDI- top 10 favorite Reggae tracks

We're all excited over here at Six Degrees because Gaudi has come over to our shores for his first U.S. tour. Gaudi was raised in Italy but his first musical passion was reggae music. In fact, to this day, much of Gaudi's "English" is peppered with Jamaican slang that he picked up from those classic early records. He tells me that he raised many an eye brow when he first moved to the UK with his strange hybrid of English with an Italian accent, Jamaican rasta slang all topped of with a slight Island lilt to his voice.

In celebration of his North American trip we asked Gaudi to put together this list of his all time favorite reggae-rockers:

Gaudi's top 10 favorite Reggae tracks

BOB MARLEY – Redemption song
MAX ROMEO – I chase the devil
THE ABYSSINIANS – Satta massagana
KEN BOOTHE – The train is coming
JIMMY CLIFF – The harder they come
BLACK UHURU – Guess who’s coming to dinner
GREGORY ISAAC – Nightnurse
THIRD WORLD - Now that we found love
EEK A MOUSE - Wa do dem

For a free download of the track "Bethe Bethe Kese Kese"click here

Video of Gaudi live Dub n' Breaks tour:

-Read the full Post-

The secret life of a Six Degrees employee

We have many talented folks working for us here at Six Degrees and we'd love you to get to know them - so this marks the start of a semi-regular feature on the blog: The Secret Life of a Six Degrees employee.

When Ryan Romana interviewed with us for the position of "head of publicity" two years ago, he mentioned that he was a DJ who spun "grime" and "dubstep" music. This gave me an opportunity to finally ask someone who knew, what the hell the difference between the two genres was. After Ryan recovered from shock from the fact that I knew ANYTHING at all about the scene (which at the time was a lot more underground than it is now), he explained that "grime" featured vocals and "dubstep" was its instrumental off shoot.

Over the last two years, dubstep has pretty much taken the spotlight from grime and has matured into a really interesting genre with "breakout" artists like Burial, Skream and Benga attracting lots of media attention of late. Here's Ryan (or should I say DJ Cyan) to give us a beginner's guide to the scene.

Dubstep 101
By: DJ Cyan

By day I’m the head of publicity for Six Degrees Records, but by night I’m a bass-loving freak addicted to dubstep music. Dubstep is the London born bass music that combines dub/reggae influences with sub low bass. The bass slinks so low that you feel it more than you hear it. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York all have great dubstep scenes, but the music has grown worldwide.

Here are my top 5 dubstep tunes that shaped my sound.

1) Midnight Request Line Skream (Tempa)
This is the first tune that was recognized outside of the dubstep community. The catchy fluttering hook grabbed the attention of tastemaker Giles Peterson and became a favorite beat for the Roll Deep crew as well. Play this tune today and you still get an amazing reaction. Timeless.

2) Qawwali Pinch (Planet Mu)
Bristol’s DJ Pinch came out with this subdued bass roller that grows on you with every listen. Qawwali has become an anthem at New York City’s Dub War party. Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular on the Indian subcontinent. It was only fitting that we asked Pinch to remix a song from the Dub Qawwali album by Gaudi & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan that was released in 2007 on Six Degrees. Pinch purposely didn’t speed up the tempo to dubstep’s 140 bpm because he wanted to keep Nusrat’s vocals intact exactly how they were recorded. Respect.

3) Anti War Dub Mala (DMZ)
DMZ’s Mala is a rhythmic man. Anti War Dub swings more like a house tune than the popular half step rhythm. The vocals by Spen G scatting “we don’t want to fight tonight” reflects the yearning for peace right after the London tube terrorist bombings. Drop bass not bombs.

4) 50,000 WattsMatty G. (Argon)
Matty G. is a local Santa Cruz producer who mixes elements of laid back west coast G Funk into his music. 50,000 Watts is a perfect mix of bass, funk, and crunk. Look out for his debut album, Take You Back, on Argon Records this fall.

5) Round The World GirlsUncle Sam & Tes La Rok (Argon)
My #1 all time feel good dubstep track. Drop the needle on this tune and you get smiles across the dancefloor.

Here are some links for more info on some of these tracks:

Midnight Request Line click here

To listen to "Qawwali" click here

To listen and purchase "Dub Qawwali Remix" click here

For info on Anti War Dub click here

For 50,000 Watts click here

For Round The World Girls click here
-Read the full Post-