Sunday, 2 October 2011

Guide to San Francisco

I for one couldn’t help noticing the rise of a modern “beat generation” emerge out of San Francisco a city famous for being at the forefront of the hippie movement in the 60’s. Of course they’re not alone in this global melting pot where labels and artists fuse together traditional eastern grooves with modern electronica, hip-hop, house and breaks. However, I feel it well worth focusing on the some of the labels, artists and nightlife at the heart of San Fran’s vibrant scene.


Jef Stott

Founder of “Stellamara” and “Lumin” Jef has studied both string and percussion under highly regarded musicians in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Jef’s own material, his re-mixes and collaborations often fuse traditional folk songs with modern day electronica, Having released music through labels such as Six Degrees, Hearts of Space, City Of Tribes, Universal and EMI.

Jeff is now releasing music through his own Embarka label which includes his most recent project “Eliyahu and the Quadim Ensemble”.

Photo by Trevor Traynor

Cheb i Sabbah

Born in Algeria and establishing himself as a prominent Parisian dj in the sixties. Cheb I Sabbah now re-sides in San Francisco.

His well renowned world fusion sets can be heard at festivals from the infamous “Burning Man” to the beaches of Goa.

Cheb I Sabbah has also released material on Six Degrees records which often draws on the Indian classical music he discovered on his many visits, since the seventies. Collaborating with accomplished artists they re-work compositions from respected artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.

Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy


Scott Sterling emerged from San Francisco’s dance and indie-circus scene. Scott was the percussionist and composer of the AWD and Xeno Ensembles. Over time Scott progressed to dj’ing and producing eastern flavoured electronica.

His first full length album “Kytheria” a mix of tribal percussion, middle eastern melodies, deep house, funk and electronica was recently released on Japan’s Dakini Records, while his mp3 e.p. The Nekyia is still available for download.

Janaka Selekta

We’ve already featured Janaka’s “Gods Robot” project with Taamara where he mentioned his collaboration “Mighty Dub Killaz” with Chicago reggae vocalist Papa Roads. Janaka made an impact with BBC Asian Network's Pathaan and Bobby Friction with his album “Pushing Air” last year: A bass heavy fusion of dub reggae and Asiatic vibes that is well worth investigation.


Rob Rayle aka Outersect who has composed and played in numerous rock bands took a change of direction after attending the renowned “Burning Man” festival. Drawing on psychedelic prog rock and bluegrass influences he combines these with modern day psy-chill to produce a cutting edge electro-acoustic sound.

For those in San Fran and surrounding areas Rob puts on regular Outersect live shows and dj appearances and for those of us further afield his recent release “God Love The Fool” is out now.

Photo by Martin Tickle

Choice Label

Six Degrees Records

An independent label based in San Francisco which releases both solo albums and compilations of traditional world music and electronica fusions. The range of high quality artists and music is as diverse as it is wonderful.

Here's some to wet your appetite.

The Bombay Dub Orchestra
Vieux Farka Toure
Alice Russell
Banco De Gaia
Ojos De Brujo
Tom Middleton ... The list (and indeed the beat) goes on.

It's well worth listening to the Six Degrees Traveller Installments uploaded on soundcloud

and also check out their Globalnoize blog

Friday the 23rd of July outside the Dome 2 @ 1015 Fulsom, San Francisco


desert breaks, dubstep, whirling dervishes, bellydance, live Middle East music, opulent decor all in high Hookahdome style

if you loved Hookahdome on the Playa come out and support us!
we need your to help make Hookahdome 2010 the best ever!!


Front Room
Cheb I Sabbah (Six Degrees, 1002 Nights)
Radiohiro (Freakeasy/Hookahdome)
Jimmy Love (Non Stop Bhangra)
Ra So (Hookahdome / Soma Olam)

Upstairs Dubstep Room
Kush Arora (Surya Dub)
Janaka Selekta (WORLDLY)
Joro Boro (NYC)
Jocelyn (Club Exotica/Get Freaky)

Downstairs Hookah Lounge
Jef Stott - Live (Six Degrees/Hookahdome)
Drumspyder - Live (Dakini)
DJ Feral (Hookahdome, Anon, WOW)
Lokesh (Moonrise/Geomagnetic)
Arcane Dimension - Live

Belly dancers~
Fat Chance Belly Dance
Summer Sahar

Other event links

Switch - Sundays @ The Triple Crown, 1760 Market Street, San Francisco

Out Of Exile 12 Aug @ 103 Harriet Street, San Francisco.

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