Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Filastine: Fitnah (feat. Jessika Skeletalia Kenney)

Free Download - Filistine - Fitnah (feat. Jessika Skeletalia Kenney)

Today we travel a bit into the "Global Edge" with a track from the excellent second album from Seattle born and Barcelona based Filastine. Like his sometime label mate and collaborator, DJ Rupture, Grey Filastine's music is informed by his frequent travels to many corners of the world that you and I can't even pronounce, let alone think of visiting. His music is steeped in everything from dubstep to breakcore to Arabic folk music and he has no trouble mashing together sounds both beautiful and disturbing, making Dirty Bomb a diverse and disorienting listening experience. Be sure to check out his fascinating blog Filastine Frequency in which he chronicles his travels as well as the sources and collaborators that went into the creation of this fascinating release. This is global fusion music of the most adventurous sort and the kind of record that keeps your ears on their toes (does that make sense?)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Alice in wonderland

Alice Russell and TM Juke

Tonight in Portland, OR is the last night of Alice Russell's month long U.S. tour. If you missed her this time she'll be back stateside soon, but do check this amazing BBC video to find out about some of Alice's adventures at SXSW.
Also check the crucial interview with Alice and TM Juke on OkayPlayer

Alice Russell Homepage

Listen/Buy Alice Russell Pot of Gold

Free Download - Alice Russell - Got the Hunger

Alice Russell at Amoeba Records San Francisco in-store performance with: Left to Right:TM Juke, Josh Lippi, Bob Duskis, Ben Schwier, Alice Russell, Derek Taylor, Michael Simmonds
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

David Starfire Remixes N.A.S.A.:

We just got this note from David Starfire who is hard at work finishing up the follow up to his hot Bombay Beatz EP.

Hey guys! I made a remix of N.A S.A. project's "Whachadoin" featuring iCatching, Spank Rock, M.I.A. & Santogold and it's #1 this week on the BBC show Friction!

The song is available to download on my blog at

David Starfire
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Paddy Free with Richard Nunns: "Kohatu"

Free Download - Paddy Free with Richard Nunns: "Kohatu"

Today we are pleased to be featuring what I think is a stunningly beautiful track from a project by Paddy Free (one half of the great electronic dub duo, Pitch Black ) in collaboration with Richard Nunns. The record, Karekare is a fusion of electronic music in combination with traditional music of the Maori people (the indigenous people of New Zealand) as played on traditional Maori instruments. Paddy's production is expansive and lovely and is always sympathetic to the many ancient instruments utilized by Nunns who is considered a living authority on nga taonga puoro (traditional Maori musical instruments). The end result is a sound that is both ethereal and deeply rooted in nature and the sounds of the earth and one that rewards repeated listening by revealing increasing depth. So many electronic fusions these days are all about the pounding rhythms of the dance floor and while there's nothing wrong with that, it's refreshing to find a project that takes the time to find the quiet beauty in the sound of two cultures coming together.

For more info go to http://www.myspace.com/dubmissionrecords

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Midival Punditz: Drifting

Midival Punditz: Drifting

Free Download - Midival Punditz: Drifting (from the upcoming release Hello Hello)

I always tell folks that one of the best ways we learn about new talent is from our very own artists. Karsh Kale had been raving about this great duo from New Delhi called the Midival Punditz for many months before we finally got some music that more than confirmed his enthusiasm. In many ways, the Punditz are the ultimate poster band for the concept that originally inspired Six Degrees Records. They grew up steeped in the traditional music of their culture as much as they loved electronic music, the Chemical Brothers and club culture. I believe that their sound is one of the most seamlessly organic fusions (there's that dirty word again) of old and new that I have ever heard. Tapan Raj and Gaurav Raina were both relatively young men when we first signed them back in 2002 and I have watched with a great deal of pride as the precocious production skills they evidenced on their first album have grown and blossomed over time. Their new album Hello Hello finds the duo (along with Kale who has remained their steadfast friend and collaborator over the years) expanding their style even more overtly into the realms of electronica and continuing to break down genre walls. I think it is a thrilling record that more than fulfills the promise we heard when we first signed them.

Today's free track "Drifting" is a soaring slice of cinematic Indo-electronica but rest assured there are a diverse range of styles and pleasures that await in the grooves of Hello Hello, many of which will surprise old fans and seduce new listeners. -Read the full Post-

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Priceless Videos:

While I know embedding a bunch of videos for your perusal can be construed as "lazy blogging", I really believe these two clips are WELL worth your attention. In the last couple of weeks many people have all sent me the link to this fabulous piece of "cut up" video art from the artist, Kutiman. While I am familiar with and very much enjoy Kutiman's music, I had no idea that he had the kind of mad editing skills that it must have taken to piece together this fantastic slice of brilliant, visual fun.

This next visual piece was justifiably nominated for an academy award. This background explanation comes straight from the producers:

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace.

38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation.

Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.

In the six-minute animated film which John Lennon talks about global conflict and the need for peace has caught the imagination of Hollywood.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Niyaz Live:

Listen/Download: Niyaz' live performance on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" podcast

Buy Niyaz music from Six Degrees Shop

Today we have a special guest blog post from Niyaz vocalist extraordinaire, Azam Ali. Niyaz just finished a series of incredible live shows on the west coast, as well as a great appearance on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program, so we thought it was a perfect chance to catch up with the band and share some of the beautiful photos from their LA show:

Here are some photos from our recent concert at the El Rey theatre in Los Angeles. They were taken by a dear friend of mine whom I grew up with, Bobby Aazami, who has gone on become a great talent.

The evening was truly memorable for us for a number of reasons. Mainly this was put together by two private promoters who are fans of Niyaz, and the turnout surpassed any of our expectations. I personally could not be more grateful to our fans for coming out in such huge numbers to support us especially during such tough financial times.

The second most memorable thing about the evening was that as I stood on the stage and looked out at the audience, I saw people of every cultural background, which was extremely heartwarming for me because as a fan of music myself, I don’t remember going to many concerts and witnessing such a mixture of people. In creating something that we hoped would transcend our cultural and religious differences, we had managed to bring so many people from different walks of life into one room to experience something very unifying. That made me extremely proud.

It is with great pride that we introduce our fans to the new musicians in Niyaz all of whom are the best in their field. Featured in the concerts are:

Salar Nader on Tabla. Salar is of Afghan descent and is is one Ustad Zakir Hussain’s most promising protégés. He is one of the most talked about Tabla players to arrive on the world music scene in recent times. His exceptional technique and musicianship are only to be matched by his infectious sense of groove which makes me constantly smile on stage.
Naser Musa on Oud. What can I say about Naser that his playing could not say more poetically? Originally from Palestine, Naser is considered one of the Oud masters of the Middle East. He is truly a virtuoso on the Oud and also has a magnificent voice. Naser has been a great friend of mine for many years and to share the stage with him is nothing less than an honor for me.
Miles Jay on Upright Bass. Miles can be described as the most sought after double bassist in the world music scene today. Although he has a strong background in Jazz, he has spent extensive time in the Middle East studying the music and performing with some of the top musicians from that region.
Laura Escude on Violin, Programming and Sound Design. We met Laura literally two weeks before the LA show and she blew us away when she prepared and learned everything in that small amount of time. She is a great talent and a wonderful person. I must add that I love having another girl in the group.
Vaneeth Nand on Second Tabla. Of Indian descent and also a student of the great Zakir Hussain, Vanneth initially came in to be an understudy for Salar for the shows Salar was to miss, but once we heard these two friends together, we had to have them on the same stage. A great guy with a promising future.

Our diverse backgrounds in Niyaz are a testament to the power of music being able to transcend boundaries. When on stage, we all speak the same language and convey the same message- that our experience and inner journey as human beings is universal.

Azam Ali

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Auto Tune Traveler:

Kanye West ft. Daft Punk - Stronger (Live at the 2008 Grammy Awards)

Auto Tune Traveler:
The new episode of our weekly internet radio show, Six Degrees Traveler is now up on Apple i-tunes (under the "Eclectic" or the "Electronica" sections of their radio page) or at http://www.live365.com/stations/sixdegrees.

On this week's edition, we present a musical tribute to the joys of "auto tuning". You know, that vocal effect first made popular on Cher's track "Do You Believe" and that is now seemingly on EVERY hip hop, dance-hall, cumbia and pop record released. Since we can't fight it, this week we embrace it, with tracks by Bon Iver, Imogen Heap, Shulman, Karsh Kale and many others. There's also a first listen to the upcoming new one from the Midival Punditz and lots of crazy bootleg remixes of folks like Burial, Kanye West and Daft Punk.

Auto tune is the name for an audio processor which uses a devise called a phase vocoder to correct pitch in vocals. While it is often used live and on record to disguise bad singing, recently it has become a "go to" effect in it's own right with everyone from country stars Faith Hill and Reba McEntire to Rihanna and Kanye West slathering their vocals in this machine like sound.

While there is a long and rich history in the music business of singers (and rappers) trying their best to sound like robots, it is unclear when exactly the trend started. When Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" became a massive hit in 1983, it certainly spawned a world-wide deluge of "electro hip hop" tracks, all of which seemed to feature prominent turntable scratching effects, heavy handed drum machine programming and of course mechanical sounding, heavily effected vocals that sounded like funky machines had taken over our planet. "Rockit" may not have been the first of its kind but its success certainly made it the "electro, robotic, hip hop" shot heard round the world.

There's no way of knowing exactly when and where those crazy French dudes, Daft Punk got the idea to dress up and sound like robots but it's a sure bet they had seen the Godley and Creme directed video to "Rockit" more than a few times and you've got to believe they had a few P-Funk and Manzel records stashed away in their collections. Whatever their influences might have been, the massive success of Daft Punk's first record made the world safe for robot synth funk once again and their recent collaboration with Kanye West is just the latest example of hip hop's ongoing love affair with auto tuned vocals.

Recently the popular rapper T-Pain has been publicly complaining that HE started the auto tune trend in hip hop and everyone else in the industry has been jumping on HIS bandwagon. He even wrote a song about all of this on his latest album called "Swagger Jackers" that has set off the kind of back and forth "controversy" between rappers that the hip hop industry loves so much. The whole thing is pretty hilarious considering Cher could probably lay more claim to auto tune bragging rights than anyone in the rap world. (on a T-Pain vs. Cher cage match, I'm betting the farm on Cher!).

Every generation has it's "signature sounds" that seem to come in and out of fashion throughout the years. Whether it's the Yamaha DX7 and drum machine sounds of the 80's or the use of a "fuzz guitar" in the 60's, these sonic signposts more often than not tend to terribly date music in the retrospect of hindsight. What sounds incredibly fresh and new in the moment usually just doesn't date too well. This week's show presents a wide range of styles from hip hop to cumbia to bhangra and even folk that utilize the auto tune sound. It will be interesting to see how all of this sounds ten years from now, when we have moved on to the next sonic color in the musical palette. It's all just part of the joy of music.

Check out the full playlist

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Afro Noize Part 5- Youssou N'Dour- Wake Up Africa (Gavin Hardkiss Remix)

Free Download - Youssou N'Dour - Wake Up Africa ( Gavin Hardkiss remix)

The Afro treats just keep coming here on Global Noize. I recently got an E Mail from our buddy Gavin Hardkiss asking us to help call attention to a very worthy project he is participating in with the organization Intrahealth Open. Artists and musicians including Gavin, Nas, Estelle, Peter Buck of REM and Q-Burn have joined one of Africa's greatest singers, Youssou N’Dour to release a series of open source remixes in support of Intrahealth OPEN - a new initiative that will change the way people think about health, technology and the developing world.

When I first moved to San Francisco, the Hardkiss brothers (none of whom were related) ruled the Bay Area electronica roost with a series of trippy and danceable tracks which mixed the unique flavors of West Coast psychedelia with thumping beats. Gavin was always my favorite producer of the Hardkiss crew (it's kind of like picking your favorite Beatle or member of the Three Stooges) and we collaborated at Six Degrees with his record Heatstroke which he recorded under his artist name of Hawke.

Gavin has continued to make his very unique brand of electronic music, much of which he makes available for free on his excellent blog.

More info on Intrahealth Open:

With growing connectivity and mobile phone use increasing at twice the global rate, Africa can take advantage of cutting edge technologies in eHealth. Open source technology is ideally suited for such environments being inexpensive, flexible and collaborative.

Intrahealth has worked to improve health in over 50 countries over the past 30 years. The nonprofit company’s primary mission is to create sustainable, accessible health care by mobilizing local resources.

You can help put the latest advances in open source technology into the hands of Africans. Visit the website to download the other remixes and make a donation.

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