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Six Degrees Records: a world of sound, streaming online
March 7, 2014 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Six Degrees Records is a record label based in San Francisco that represents a range of "world music" sounds. You can dig into their discography through official mixes from the label or the usual array of samplers on Soundcloud, or listen to a ton of complete albums from 17 artists and groups on Bandcamp, from Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré to the man who made the label, Karsh Kale, who is considered one of the pioneering figures in defining the Asian Underground genre, to the Brazilian singer/songwriter, Céu and the Iranian singer and musician, Azam Ali. If this is all too overwhelming, just grab the free 10-track sampler.
posted by filthy light thief (8 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

I played Six Degrees a TON on my world music show when I lived in New Hampshire. Great post!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:56 PM on March 7

Thanks! I'm pretty fond of the label. I was going to add "especially Karsh Kale," but then I was going to have to add a bunch of additional bands. Reviewing this list of the artists who have released music for the label, I'd say I'm quite fond of at least half of them, though I wouldn't consider some of them to specifically be "Six Degrees artists," as they have released a range of material on other labels.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:59 PM on March 7

Thanks, flt!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on March 7

I discovered 6 Degrees, probably along with many other people, way back in 2000 when Bebel Gilberto released Tanto Tempo. Damn, that was a fine album! The label was on my radar for a few years, which is how I found the amazing Toure. Sadly, my listening habits changed over the years and I went away from world music. Thanks for the reminder that there's a whole world of music out there that I've been ignoring for far too long.
posted by ashbury at 9:45 PM on March 7

I've been vaguely considering making an Azam Ali post for a while! FYI, she sings as part of Niyaz and Vas as well as solo. She has a truly ludicrously beautiful voice, and sings in many different languages. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mazaar (a classic Afghan song about the city Mazaar-e Sharif, also featuring A.R. Rahman)
Dunya (in Urdu)
Tamana (also in Urdu)
Aj Ondas (in Galician)

And here is a taping of a performance of Azam Ali and the Niyaz Ensemble at Yoshi's in Oakland.
posted by yasaman at 10:50 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]

This was a lot of my listening in the early 2000s. They would put out these yearly compilation CDs, all of which I still have.
posted by matildaben at 9:48 AM on March 8

Oh, wow. Great post. Some of my favorite 6 Degrees artists include Talvin Singh, Banco de Gaia, and, of course, the late great Cheb i Sabbah.
posted by phoebus at 11:04 AM on March 8

This is great! Thanks, filthy light thief.
posted by homunculus at 7:35 PM on March 8

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