Of recent, I’ve managed to fall helplessly in love with Six Degrees Records. Every time I spot a new release, I buy it. The “style” of the label is rather diverse, and is best described as World Music. “World music” seems to carry with it the connotation of “new age.” It is an entirely unfair assumption with Six Degrees Records. Two compilations recently surfaced at Tower Records here in Atlanta, so I felt obligated to try them on as there were tracks from other artists I had not heard yet, as well as remixes from artists I had already purchased.
Traveler ’00 is the more recent of the two compilations, containing quite a few more “modernish” remixes. Baaba Maal gets a remix treatment from Thievery Corporation that just swims in dub. The Uman track, “Free Uman Walking,” is a beautiful cross between jazz and a rumba. Suba also gets a wonderful treatment the Freezy Jam Remix of “Voce Gosta.” There are so many great tracks on Traveler ’00 that I will never be able to select a favorite. The one track that seems to make more than a few people laugh is RSL’s (featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo) “Elungelo.” It’s like listening to parts of Paul Simon’s Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints while your favorite drum n’ bass DJ drops the beats underneath.
Traveler ’99 carries a slightly more natural sound to it. As a collective, the tracks (both remixed and straight) have an open mic recording style. It’s as if one, as a listener, is listening in on secret recording sessions. Banco de Gaia’s “I Love Baby Cheese (Skippy Remix)” is bound to pop up in a few clubs over the next year or two, given the current progression of the dance scene. On Traveler ’99, I am most regularly caught playing the Yam Yam track, “The Spectacle.” The drums cascade around while keyboards and horns blare across the top with perfection.
Both CDs are perfect for the music adventurer who is bound and determined to find something new to stimulate their ears above the standard crap of pop music. Just once, I’d like to hear something from a Six Degrees release on the radio. I’d know then that someone else was as happy as I. Go ahead and trust me; you’ll want to pick these up the next time you are out CD purchasing.
Six Degrees Records, 602 20th St., San Francisco, CA 94107; http://www.sixdegreesrecords.com