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'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 - 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

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-

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bombay Dub Orchestra - 3 Cities

Free Download - Bombay Dub Orchestra - Journey

I first met Garry Hughes (one half of the Bombay Dub Orchestra) when I was putting together an ambient "chill out" collection for Windham Hill Records called Path . I included Garry's haunting track "Ancient Evenings" on that collection. Years later when Pat Berry and I left Windham Hill to start Six Degrees, I was looking for a producer to helm our Euphoria project who could mix electronic programming with Ken Ramm's acoustic and electric guitars. Somehow, Garry popped into my mind and he wound up beautifully producing both Euphoria records that we released on our label. Garry has gone on to work behind the scenes on many Six Degrees projects over the years, always with the utmost professionalism and consummate skill. I can honestly say that he is one of my favorite people to work with in this business. He is not only ridiculously talented and the owner of the greatest vintage keyboard collection in the world, he is a true gentleman.

Throughout our working relationship, I consistently encouraged Garry to come up with his own recording project that we could work together on and somewhere along the line, he pitched me on the concept of the Bombay Dub Orchestra . Garry had collaborated with string arranger Andrew T. Mackay (not to be confused with the sax player from Roxy Music) on a project in India and the two producer/musicians hatched the concept of a "chill out", electronic record which featured a full Indian orchestra. I think it took me all of about 2 seconds to say "let's do it" based on the concept and the calibre of the two men involved. While I have not known Andrew as long as Garry, he has also proven himself to be the kind of smart and talented partner that we love to work with.

Now that the band is about to release their excellent second album 3 Cities we all get to see this wonderful concept come to its full fruition. While I love the Bombay Dub Orchestra's self titled first release, 3 Cities moves to that difficult to achieve "next level" where all of the pieces of a very complex puzzle come together. It is almost as if Indian Orchestra's and electronic soundscapes were always meant to seamlessly come together. On this sophomore effort, the beats are more banging, the bass is fatter (or "phatter" if you prefer) and the compositions are even more tuneful and lovely than before.

Today's free download of "Journey" will give you a taste of the album's more downtempo moments but rest assured that the record is a multi-faceted musical trip filled with a variety of moods and tempos to soothe and move you. -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monareta - Picotero

Download the free mp3 "Llama" from Monareta's album Picoreto Here
Buy Monareta music on itunes

One of the things that I really wanted to do with this blog was to turn it into a platform for an entire community of like minded labels. Lord knows there is no shortage of great companies who are "fighting the good fight" in order to bring interesting and eclectic music out into the world.

Last week, we brought you a track from the Bay Area's Om Records and today we are fortunate enough to have a track from the great Nacional Records label. Quite simply, Nacional is the premier label working out of North America focusing on the many shades and styles of Alternative Latin music. From Manu Chao to Nortec Collective to Aterciopelados to many, many more great artists, Nacional has consistently proven that there is much more to Latin music than salsa, J-Lo, Ricky Martin and Reggaeton.

I'm always happy when I get a package in the mail from Nacional but of late, I am particularly enjoying a recent release of theirs from Bogotá's Monareta. This is smart and funky Latin electronica at it's finest and we're pleased to be sharing a track with you. As with any of releases we feature here at Global Noize, if you like what you hear, be sure to dig deeper into the record and support the labels and artists who are generous enough to offer these songs for you.


Picotero is at once intelligent and danceable—a unique fusion of styles refined over several years since composer, producer and vocalist Andres Martinez started mixing break beats and hip hop flows with live keyboard performances by Camilo Sanabria. The duo quickly became popular in clubs and electronic music festivals throughout their hometown of Bogotá.

Taking their name from the brand of BMX bike they rode avidly as kids, Monareta makes music that is influenced by a lot of what was cool to them in those formative years. Martinez explains, “Growing up, even as young as 11, I was really involved in the local freestyle street bike scene. All the street bikers in Colombia were heavily influenced by the break dance and electric boogaloo arriving from the U.S. We heard groups like the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy and they completely changed our lives. And so that’s how we got the name for our group: It’s a homage to the `80s break dance, hip hop, BMX and the fashion scene that came from abroad to influence us in South America.”

Once Monareta had begun to develop their sound, Martinez received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master of Arts in composition and film scoring at New York University. He moved from Bogotá to New York City and immersed himself in the local music scenes. Monareta found an especially receptive crowd in Brooklyn and Martinez integrated what he was learning with his studies into the group’s cinematic sound.

While fellow Colombians Sidestepper combine electronic music with salsa, Monareta mixes electronic music with cumbia and champeta, the Afro-Colombian genre native to the streets of the country’s Caribbean coast. They also incorporate the reggae, dub and calypso sounds popular in the coastal cities. On Picotero, the track “Llama” especially illustrates this fusion, where the cumbia upbeat flows seamlessly with a reggae groove and dub vocals.

Recently, the group has split time living in Colombia and Brooklyn, while performing across the U.S. Earlier this year, Monareta showcased at South by Southwest and North by Northeast in Toronto.

Monareta on Myspace -Read the full Post-

Monday, October 13, 2008

World Review: Issa Bagayogo, Mali Koura

Download the free MP3 "Sebero" from the Issa Bagayogo record Mali Koura Here

We don't post every great press review that our records get on this blog but occasionally something comes along that we really just have to share with you. Charlie Gillett is one of our favorite people in the global music scene. His impeccable taste and intelligence are always in evidence on his BBC 2 radio program, Without Frontiers and in his always intriguing music writing. This guy knows his stuff. So when he posts a 5 star review of one of our records in London's Sunday Observer section of the Guardian, you need to let us crow like proud parents just for a little while...

World review: Issa Bagayogo, Mali Koura
(Six Degrees)

Some influential voices will be dismayed, even horrified, by this combination of Issa Bagayogo's authentic, man-from-the-country sound and a series of propulsive rhythm tracks made from programmed beats and electronic keyboards. I stand with the choir on the other side of the room, to sing the praises of an impressive and consistently enjoyable album from yet another marvellous and unique artist from Mali. How do you say 'it gets better with every play' without it sounding like a cliche? I give up.
Perhaps the closest parallel is to Amadou & Mariam's 2005 album, produced by Manu Chao, although the productions of Willie Mitchell in the early Seventies also come to mind - it's intriguing to imagine Al Green or Ann Peebles slipping into some of these arrangements.

Mali may be best known for music that reveals its roots but its capital, Bamako, has plenty of nightclubs, where the well-dressed take to the floor to be galvanised by DJs who switch between hip hop, R&B, reggae and their local equivalents. In general, there's an unwritten rule that the closer such local records get to matching the sounds of their Western models, the less interested we in the West are likely to be. Somehow Issa Bagayogo and his production team have surmounted this difficulty, developing a trademark sound that uses some Western elements and yet is still so distinctive, you instantly know who the singer is before he has opened his mouth.

Mali Koura is the fourth successive album by Issa Bagoyogo to have been co-produced by Yves Wernert, a Frenchman whose engineer's hands were on the tiller of every significant album recorded in Bamako over the past 10 years. Where previous albums were studio-based, these songs were recorded on location, starting at Issa's home in Wassalou in the south west of Mali, and then moving to Nancy in France, base of a polymath called Gael Le Billan, whose name appears 13 times in the credits, not only playing an astonishing assortment of instruments, but also collaborating in the songwriting, arrangements, production and mixing. He is quite a find, brilliantly integrating slinky saxes and Malian backing vocals, acoustic guitars and Issa's kamele ngoni.

Whether I were a boite DJ in Bamako or a radio DJ in London, I'd go for 'Poye' as first choice, but there are no duff moments on an album which throws up a different highlight depending on the time of day. The uptempo hustle of 'N'Tana' might grate at midnight but right now, at 11am, it sounds perfect. 'Sebero' is just what you'd hope to hear if you discovered you were the first to arrive at a party, filling an empty room without being overbearing. The horn riff in 'Ahe Sira Bila' will come back to haunt you days later.

Mali Koura is a giant leap for a singer who has until now been regarded as a minor player. The time has come for us to add one more name to the pantheon of great Malian artists.
-Read the full Post-

Friday, October 10, 2008

Musical Notes by Bob Duskis: The Value of Free Part 1

While the rest of America watches in slack jawed horror as Wall Street tumbles into previously unheard of depths, we in the record business have been going through our own financial apocalypse for some time now. Without going into a long and drawn out history lesson, somewhere along the line, a basic shift has occurred in the way people value (or don't) music. While music plays a larger part than ever in our day to day existence, the fact that it has become so easy to get for free has somehow translated for many consumers to the fact that it SHOULD be free.

I will never forget one Christmas a few years ago, teaching my niece how to download from the i-tunes store (she had just received her first i-pod for the holidays) and her 16 year old cousin commenting that "paying for music was for suckers and chumps". This was a kid who was heavily into the alternative punk scene coming out of his native Northwest area. When I asked him how the bands he loved were supposed to survive without people paying for their music, he told me that he would happily pay to see them live and buy a Tee-shirt but why would he buy music when it was so easy to get it free. Besides, everyone knows that record companies rip off artists anyway so why shouldn't people rip THEM off. I have spoken on this issue at many colleges and high schools and I can tell you that this is an attitude that is widely held by younger music fans who have absolutely no idea of any distinction between the historically heinous practices of many major labels and the vastly different world of independent music.

Those of us who work on the independent side of the music business know that with very few exceptions, no one is getting rich in this game. Most of us have made conscious decisions somewhere in our careers to forego higher paying, major label jobs in order to focus on music that we love, rather than music that could sell in huge quantities. I have a large network of friends and acquaintances at other indie labels and I am here to tell you that for the most part, these are fans just like yourselves who are still passionate about music and have made many sacrifices to work in this world. I'm not trying to paint us all as glorious martyrs. We have gladly chosen a path that was never going to make us wealthy BUT we never signed on as charity workers. The idea that my contemporaries and I shouldn't be able to make a living in the music business because technology has made it easy to download and burn music for free is simply ridiculous. I believe it was Doug Morris (chairman of the Universal Music Group) who when asked how the RIAA could condone suing their own consumers for illegal downloading, asked the rhetorical question, "What do you think the makers of Coca Cola would do if someone invented a device that you could easily install at home, enabling you to get free Coke from your own sink?"- you can damn well expect that they would do whatever they had to in order to stop it and no one would blame them for a second. Think for a moment about whatever business you are in. If some new technology allowed your customers to steal from you with impunity how would you feel?

Most importantly here, what about the artists? I'm not condoning downloading free music from major label artists by any means but people need to understand that performers like Eminem, U2, Lil' Wayne etc. will always be able to make a fabulous living off of their touring and merchandise. I read somewhere that Britney Spears made more money from the Tee- shirt sales on her last big tour (this was before her spectacular "fall from grace") than she did from her record sales. There are some indie artists who have carved out lucrative touring careers but when you look at our niche of music, it is very rare. In fact, most of our artists still have a tour "short fall" that we make up for as the label with pre-approved tour support dollars. The point I'm making here is that for the level of artist that we (and most indie labels) work with, every dollar counts towards them being able to make a living at this game. Should one of my artists have to take a day job because people feel that 99 cents is too much to pay for a song?

Now I know that most of you understand this in principle and I would like to think that most of our consumers are actually BUYING our music but frankly the numbers over the last few years tell a disturbing story. Traditional retail stores like Tower Records are going the way of the dinosaurs and while digital sales are on the rise, they are not growing at a rate that makes up for the decline in physical sales. Time and time again I meet people who think nothing of paying $7 for a beer or $4 for a bottle of water at a club but balk loudly at plunking down $14 for a CD or $9.99 for an album download. It simply blows my mind how the general public's perception of the actual value of music has changed over the years. It is traditional wisdom that you can't put a price tag on the emotional impact that a great song or a great CD can bring to your life but maybe we need to start doing just that.

This is obviously a huge issue here and I will be tackling different facets of it in further installments on this topic- but let me leave you with this thought. There IS an economic system that helps ensure that independent artists can survive and make their art. If you love music that exists outside of the parameters of mainstream rock, pop and hip hop and if you want to continue to have a choice in what you can listen to, then you NEED to support the artists and the labels that make that music. If real music fans like yourselves who actually take the time and have the interest in reading a blog like this don't actually PAY for eclectic music, then this music is going to start to go away. Labels and retailers are already dropping like flies and now with the economy in free-fall the challenges are going to get bigger than ever.

I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue. -Read the full Post-

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Free Noize: J-Boogie

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Download the single "Que Pasa" Featuring Deuce Eclipse here
Buy the album on itunes

Here at Six Degrees Records, we have had many talented interns that have gone on to big things in the music business (after we school them in the wicked ways of the biz of course). One of our favorite intern alumni is San Francisco based J-Boogie who has just released his new album through fellow Bay Area record label Om Records . J was always the best kind of hip hop junkie, the kind with open ears for the good stuff and a healthy respect for the history of where all those funky samples actually came from. His Beatsauce radio show on local college station KUSF has justifiably won many awards and his skills as a live DJ have continued to grow over the years to the point that he now rocks dance-floors around the world. Most surprising though is his maturity as a producer. It's a long stretch between loving the music and making the music but somehow, J has developed a soulful and funky production style that pays tribute to his heroes while blazing it's own adventurous trail.

You can hear his multi-lingual, soulful style in full effect on the track that he and Om have graciously let us share with you. The rest of Soul Vibrations beautifully lives up to it's name and is well worth digging into.


J-Boogie has delivered his masterful mix up of culture, soul, rhythm and beats both at home in the Bay Area through his award winning radio program “Beatsauce” on KUSF, and around the globe spinning DJ sets in countries like Colombia, India, Japan, and Spain. J-Boogie’s local success has earned him awards such as “San Francisco’s Best Radio & Club DJ” by and “Best Hip–Hop Radio Show” by SF Bay Guardian. His global success has earned him acclaim and opportunities world wide, including spots on Japanese radio and television, sportswear sponsorships, and the opportunity to DJ the Tokyo Dome for an NFL football game.

For his new and highly anticipated sophomore album, Soul Vibrations, J-boogie has put together a new “Dubtronic Science” band featuring a horn section, Latin percussionists and MC’s. Like its predecessor, J-Boogie’s second album features an impressive line up of artists including The Rebirth, Rich Medina, Lyrics Born, Ohmega Watts, Zion I, Crown City Rockers, Jennifer Johns, Deuce Eclipse, Capitol A, The Mamaz, Jazz Mafia, Lunar Heights, Jrod Indigo, Tony Moses and more.

J-boogie has also contributed his genius sounds to a wide array of mix tapes, remixes, and albums. He has released several remixes for artists such as DJ Vadim, Miguel Migs, Karsh Kale, The Rebirth, Zeph & Azeem, Mark Farina, and Soulstice as well as being featured on Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz 5 & 6, Om Lounge series, Ubiquity compilations and remix projects.

J-boogie’s vast contributions to the music world and his ongoing commitment to his own projects as well as the projects of other artists, have allowed him to make fans and friends out of some of the most respected artists in the industry. The game’s most well respected DJs are already buzzing about J-Boogie’s newest creation, and always have nothing but the best to say about not only his creations, but his character as well.

DJ Sake one of PST/Fania said: “This [album, Soul Vibrations] is the West Coast wake up, deep vibes dipped dubwise and intelligently manifested as future soul music. Top shelf shit!!!”

DJ Sabo, Sol Selectas/Turntable Lab in NYC said: “You know I’m feelin’ these soulful buttery funky vibes! ‘Inferno’ and ‘Que Pasa’ [off the Soul Vibrations album] are already getting heavy, heavy rotation from me!! Can’t wait to hear and play out the rest of the album!”

DJ Nu-mark of Jurassic 5 said: “This [Soul Vibrations] record is like Easy listening performing a duet with updated Funk.”

And finally, DJ Eleven sums up J-boogie’s career with these words: “J Boogie is one of my favorite people in the world & everyone should be jealous of him. He works harder than you, he is a nicer guy than you, and, ‘cause his album is dope, he’s going to go further in life than you!” -Read the full Post-

Monday, October 6, 2008

Free Noize: Global Noize

Free Download "A Jam for Joe (Live)"
Global Noize Myspace
Buy on itunes Amazon

When we re-started this blog a few months ago, we decided we wanted a new name that would convey a broad feeling of a diverse, world-wide music scene and would not pigeon hole us as merely a Six Degrees sales tool. "Global Noize" is a phrase that we have been using for a while in our mailings to our club DJ list and I thought it perfectly captured the vibe that we were looking for with the blog. Unfortunately, after we had hit the blogosphere, readers started mentioning a band that shared our new name. A quick Google search (which I guess I should have done earlier...duh!) took me to Global Noize's Myspace page. Here was a band that featured many players that I have long respected, who were fusing music traditions from around the world with jazz, hip-hop and electronica. Just the kind of project we might release here on Six Degrees.

I figured the best thing to do was to immediately come clean to the group and hope that they felt as I did, that there was little chance of there being any confusion between a touring band a music blog. I was definitely hoping that all us Global Noizers could co-exist together in harmony. Sure enough, I quickly got a response from band leaders Jason Miles and DJ Logic who were spectacularly cool about the whole thing and who have given us their blessing to keep the name.

So now we want to return the favor by bringing this very cool group to your attention and by offering an exclusive live version of their track "A Jam 4 Joe". I think you'll agree that these guys are whipping up some serious "global noize" worth sharing. Definitely check them out live when they come to your town as well- as you can hear from track, you're sure to catch some serious jams.


The signs are everywhere: MTV launches a channel on the Arabian Television Network. African hip-hop groups mix the postures and style of American rappers with homegrown lyrical messages and M.I.A., a Sri Lankan refugee now living in Brooklyn, scores one of the year's most critically acclaimed albums--sound bites recorded around the world mixed in an electronica blender with hip hop beats. Multi-tasking cell phones, cheap lap tops, Kindle Ebooks, YouTube, internet radio, and of course the multifaceted internet itself, have engendered a cultural interchange of unprecedented scope and speed. Music, which resonates across every cultural barrier, leads the charge. The result is a grand "global noise," a spectacular sea of interchanging and mutating beats, sounds and melodies from all directions. It is precisely that reality that Jason Miles and DJ Logic set out to capture with their collaboration Global Noize. Keyboard extraordinaire Jason Miles, who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis and Luther Vandross to Ivan Lins, and Turntable guru DJ Logic, who has collaborated with diverse artists like Phish, Vernon Reid, ?uestlove and Don Byron, join forces on Global Noize to create a thrilling mix of free-wheeling tracks that take listeners on a wide-ranging journey through the minds of some of creative music’s most innovative musicians such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Billy Martin (Medeski, Marin & Wood) , Vernon Reid (Living Color), John Popper (Blues Traveler) Cyro Baptista (Herbie Hancock), Bernie Worrell (Talking Heads, Parliament Funk), Karl Densen (Tiny Universe, Lenny Kravtiz).

“This is a special project as the world is a Global Noize and we need to come together in difficult times and great music has the power to do this,” states Grammy Award-winning and Emmy nominated keyboardist, producer and composer Jason Miles. “The artists and musicians on the project represent a great diversity and this is what the world is really about. The beauty in this diversity is something that we all need to appreciate.”

Global Noize is a project that has long been brewing in Jason Miles’ mind but the idea was solidified when he got a call from friend his DJ Logic last year to join him for a performance at the Blue Note in NY. “On that day I had a horrible root canal and was mourning the loss of a close relative. I thought that this could be just the tonic I needed to pick myself up,” recalls Miles. The night was exactly what Miles had hoped and from this experience he knew that he and Logic had a special connection. The duo later worked together in Morocco at The Casablanca Jazz Festival and had the opportunity to venture off to Marrakech. Miles shares, “We went through life-altering experiences. It was so new to us -- mysterious, crazy and another view of the world. We both knew we had to make this project happen. The picture on the CD over of the both of us with the camel in the desert says it all!”

Global Noize, which DJ Logic describes as “a hip and eclectic musical journey crossing all boundaries,” further delights with such tracks as “Dar’abesque” (named after the villa Miles and Logic inhabited in Marrakech) featuring trumpet icon Herb Albert. “When I got the track back from Herb Alpert,” confides Jason Miles, “I knew that any musician who had imagination and a great musical voice would love to be a part of this. Herb just really brought the track to life. “Bollyhood” is an ear catching trip-hoppy track showcasing the haunting vocals of Falu and “Planetery Beat” joins multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson and guitarist Dean Brown together for a soul jazz romp with killer break-beats and groovin’ horn riffs. “Having Karl Denson involved with this album made us happy because we knew there would be great playing, brilliant horn arrangements as well as fantastic compositions all at the same time.” Christian Scott is showcased on “Exotic Thoughts,” an ethereal meandering piece featuring the young hot trumpeter along with guitarist Carl Burnett and Tabla player Suphala while “Pool of Honey” is as sweet as its title with its uptempo swinging melody and feel good vibe featuring Burnett and Suphala once again along with Karl Denson on flute. “Christian Scott is one of the most exciting young artists on the scene,” states Miles. “He really stepped up and showed what a young cat at the beginning of his career has got going on.” “Spin Cycle,” brings back a 70s funk flavor with its insatiable drum licks from Gene Lake and “What I Know” features spoken word artists Aline Racine.

Jason Miles concludes “When I hear music I love I want to be involved with it. It would be boring for me to stay in one place musically so I love to explore different music. I know Miles Davis felt that way and I'm just trying to keep the grooves hot, the melodies great and collaborate with the best artists I know. Hopefully Logic and I will be bringing Global Noize to the world and show people our musical vision.” -Read the full Post-

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jef Stott's Summer 2008 tour log

Lots of stuff going on in Jef Stott's world these days. There's a remix contest for his track "Lamaset (Miami Mix)" happening over at Acid Planet:

and his new "Digital 12" featuring remixes by Nickodemus and David Starfire will be released next Tuesday October 7th.

Jef took a moment to catch his breath, reflect on his whirlwind summer and share some of his tour stories and photos with us.

Jef Stott Summer 2008 tour log

Finally back in SF after a whole summer of touring and it seemed like a good idea to get some thoughts and experiences down about all the touring and traveling I did in support of Saracen release. I managed to spend over 100 hours in a plane traveling to Miami, Austin, Vancouver, Victoria, New York, Thailand, Taiwan, British Columbia, Seattle, Portland and finally home to SF. It is by far the most touring I have ever done. Have oud, will travel.

I had become so used to constant motion that when I finally arrived home I was in a completely different reality and it took a while to settle in, but I am back in this hemisphere now and beginning work on my Graduate thesis involving brainwaves, sensors, music and biofeedback, putting a new live ensemble together and reconnecting with all the good people here at home.

Highlights of the world tour:

…playing Drom in New York with Zeb and then heading over to Nublu with Ahmed from Numi, Zeb, Nickodemus and few others to catch Forro in the Dark and then next day, another set under the NYC skyline at the Turntables on the Hudson 4th of July party.

Zeb and Nickodemus in NY

…while in New York cruising with Nickodemus in Brooklyn, listening to his new track with Jay Z on the radio, nice one.

Then two days later flew to Bangkok to begin the Asian tour

…playing the half moon party on Kah Phangan beach in Thailand, a set of psy-chill under the palms and the stars… .

Stencil Art/Graffiti Bangkok

…and then off to Taipei, for a week of shows throughout Taiwan with a clutch of fabulous Taiwanese belly dancers.

take off leaving Bangkok for Taipei

Landing from Taipei, home for only one day and then jetting of to the promised land of British Columbia.

The Shambhala Festival was amazing, incredibly well organized with top shelf talent in a breathtaking setting. The weather added an extra element as we had a very intense lightning storm Friday, with bolts hitting the Festival grounds several times, a massive hailstorm on Saturday and down pours during Nicko’s set Sunday, but the beat goes on…

overland thru British Columbia

I had the good fortune of playing on the same stage Sunday with Cheb I Sabbah, Adham Shaikh, and Nickodemus. Talk about tough acts to follow! We rocked it hard all day long. The beach stage on Sunday was where it’s at.

the Shambhala crew: Omar, Nickodemus, Adham Shaikh, Nova, Jef Stott, Ganga Giri

…Spent a couple of days with Adham Shaikh, his family and the Ganga Giri tribe on Adham's land in BC and then began the long overland journey to Portland for the Beloved festival. Upon arriving on site, met up with David Starfire and we immediately began chatting like two school kids as we had so much to catch up on.

I had the honor of playing the first DJ set at Beloved, stetting the stage for all the great sets to come from Starfire, Cheb and Gaudi. Again, another stellar line up. Spent some good time with Gaudi on Sunday wandering the festival grounds together and chatting with everyone. Played a bit of oud with him during his killer roots reggae set Sunday afternoon.

I must say the best thing about working on this global music is meeting and collaborating with amazing people from literally all over the world. As our genre is somewhat rarified, I had the opportunity to spend really quality time this summer with the folks that are putting out some of the best music on the planet. There is a really strong network and community between all of the producers and Djs worldwide, the festival producers and the folks at labels like Six Degrees, Dakini, Wonderwheel etc. This sense of commradary is the lifeblood that flows thru our sets and our lives as we journey on.

See you out there next time around!

Caio for now

FREE DOWNLOAD - Jef Stott "Lamaset (Miami Mix)" - click here

-Read the full Post-