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New release from Thousand Yard Prayer: Seven Towers

November 22, 2015

Broken Drum Records‘ most eclectic act, Thousand Yard Prayer have just released a five track digital-only release, Seven Towers, available from Bandcamp.

This release explores Central Asian, Middle-Eastern and dubstep sounds.

It’s free or you can choose to pay (name your own price).

Crying for Leaving – Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 128

November 6, 2015

Crying for Leaving - Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 128 by Secret Archives Of The Vatican on Mixcloud

Also available from iTunes


  1. Cobra (Original Mix)
  2. Syria
  3. Al-Shama
  4. An Indian Dream (Mr. Ours Remix)
  5. Pyramidal Dub
    Fedayi Pacha and Brain Damage>
  6. Londonistan Dub
    Fedayi Pacha and Dub Mentalist>
  7. 51st Dub
    Mickey Stirrups>
  8. Belogradchik
  9. Land of Stone
  10. Sand Slash
  11. Kinkaku-ji
  12. Drakones Indikoi (Tantric Decks Remix)
    Rhythmstari Feat. Rama>
  13. Soviet Bhangra
    Chuck Upbeat & Brooklyn Shanti (feat. Midget Ninjas)>

“Rich and happy as I was after my third voyage, I could not make up my mind to stay at home altogether. My love of trading, and the pleasure I took in anything that was new and strange, made me set my affairs in order, and begin my journey through some of the Persian provinces.”
The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor: 4th Voyage

band podcast blog

Deeper Than Deep – Secret Archives of the Vatican podcast 127

October 3, 2015

The 127th episode of our podcast is now available. You can download it from iTunes, or stream from MixCloud.

Deeper Than Deep - Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 127 by Secret Archives Of The Vatican on Mixcloud


  1. Ball of Confusion
    Fun Da Mental>
  2. Savior Complex
  3. Chennai Bass
  4. Al Wa’ed
    Fun Da Mental>
  5. Stylite Dub (Iron Collar Remix)
    Secret Archives of the Vatican>
  6. Desertbound
  7. Apophis
  8. Aaja

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  9. Didra


Oh, bird of my soul, fly away now, For I possess a hundred fortified towers.


PCP#500 – the very last episode of a legendary podcast

July 27, 2015


The Pete Cogle Podcast (PCP) has been going since 2006 and is legendary in the podcasting community.  Pete has hunted out the very best of new music in many genres, all of it released by artists and very small labels who generally won’t get any attention from mainstream media but all of whom are producing excellent music. Generally, the music is released under  Creative Commons licences.

Pete has been a very valued supporter of Secret Archives of the Vatican for some years, always playing our releases and being very positive about them. He is a top man!

So, it is with sadness that we report he’s just released the final show, episode 500, However, it is with happiness that we report he has dedicated this last show entirely to tunes by Secret Archives of the Vatican!

  • You can listen to this most excellent show, PCP#500 HERE.
  • Direct download HERE.
  • Pete Cogle’s Podcast Factory is HERE.


Devotion Paradigm – Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 126

June 25, 2015

Podcast 126small

Our latest podcast episode is now available from:

Devotion Paradigm - Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 126 by Secret Archives Of The Vatican on Mixcloud


  1. Flight IC408
    State of Bengal>
  2. Inertia Creeps (State of Bengal Mix)
    Massive Attack
  3. Chittagong Chill
    State of Bengal
  4. Yek Nazar – A Single Glance
  5. War Pigs
    Victoria Faiella
  6. Feeling Go(o)d
  7. Alchemy
    Baraka Orchestra

“It helped push back against decades of racial aggression and restored an overwhelming sense of pride in our shared culture. It fundamentally altered everything – the way we dressed, the way we danced, who we f***ed [he’d hate me saying that]. Like any movement, there were many sources, but it could easily be said that a lot of it sprung directly from the one-off, self-produced, acetate vinyls of Sam Zaman.”


Mideast Tunes

May 26, 2015


If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll know we love our Middle Eastern and North African music. Well, we’ve just discovered a website called Mideast Tunes, which says it is the ultimate platform for discovery of underground musicians in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly those working for social change. They say this:

“Our mission is to bridge barriers of faith and geography to unite people committed to fostering constructive discourse in the region through music. The core of the project manifested from our desire to promote bands and musicians that would otherwise never be given a second glance in the international scene. We feel that is because most people would never think to look to regions like the Middle East and North Africa for highly thought provoking music. The need to change that is our driving force.

We believe music can change the world and that the musicians of the Middle East and North Africa will lead the way.

Founded in 2010 in Bahrain, the site has expanded to serve as a primary resource for discovering up and coming Middle Eastern talents.”

There’s an app. There’s a blog. There’s a lot of amazing music.

  • Check it out HERE.

Album review: The Fourth Light by Niyaz

March 20, 2015

The Fourth Light Cover

The Canadian/Persian band Niyaz have been around since 2004 and have five previous releases before this new album, The Fourth Light. One of the most welcome aspects of the post-music-industry economy is that incredibly talented artists such as Niyaz have the possibility of releasing fan-funded albums without the interference of record labels.

In this case, a modest donation gets you a digital download of the album and there are various options beyond that which can include a CD, a signed CD, a t shirt, a handwritten lyric sheet. A 20 minute Skype call with Azam Ali and Loga Ramin Torkian, a private music lesson with Loga Ramin Torkian, a limited edition lithograph of the cover art…and more! What a creative way to raise funds for a project!

Niyaz has until recently comprised of DJ, programmer/producer and remixer Carmen Rizzo, vocalist and hammered dulcimer player Azam Ali, formerly of the group Vas, and Ali‘s husband, Loga Ramin Torkian, of the Iranian crossover group Axiom Of Choice. Carmen Rizzo left the band amicably in 2013.

  • If you were to pass before me, my tears would turn to rain
    If I were to gaze into the light in your eyes, I would enter a drunken state
    If I were to touch even the tip of your hair, my heart would be enraptured
    If you were to remain in my presence, I would be consumed with the
    sweetness of love

Niyaz are superb musicians but manage to not disappear up their own arses as too many virtuosic bands do. Their instrumental, vocal and production skills are second to none; this music is not self-indulgent, it is flawless but very accessible. Although rooted in the traditions of Persia and with influences from Turkey and other parts of the Middle East, this is not difficult music for anyone hearing it for the first time.

  • Come, let your heart become as empty as a desert
    Come, let our eyes see beyond the expanse of the sea
    Come, let us build a home from divine feathers
    One home built from nothing but love

The nine tracks all feature beautiful Iranian percussion – there is some lovely frame drum playing on Tam e EshqEyvallah Shahim and Marg e Man in particular. The drums and percussion are mixed high in all the tracks which I like. When playing is that tasteful I want to hear it!   There is some evocative flute on some tracks (I presume a ney) and various stringed instruments are perfectly set in the mixes, audible yet without detracting from Azam Ali’s (as always) exquisite vocals. She sings in Dari, Farsi, Urdu and Turkish. Melodies sometimes dip into those gorgeous Persian modes that instantly transport the listener to a distant land – check out the flute in Eyvallah Shahim. Niyaz are not a traditional folk band, however, and there is understated electronica underpinning most of this album. It merges seamlessly with the acoustic instruments.

Niyaz say this about the album:

 “The Fourth Light” is a tribute to the first female Sufi mystic and poet Rabia Al Basri (Rabia Al Adawiyya) who was born in the 8th century in Iraq. The album features original songs we have composed inspired by her great spirit and universal message of love. In today’s modern world where women are still striving in every aspect of life, to rise above the status of inferiority placed on them by patriarchal societies and laws, Rabia represents a true feminine icon that embodies every aspect of feminine and spiritual liberation. The Fourth Light will also feature several old folk songs from Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey with new and modern arrangements. One of the cornerstones of our music has always been the underlying social message aimed at raising awareness about the plight of ethnic and religious minority groups in the Middle East.

It’s an album I recommend without hesitation, uplifting and beautiful.

We like music


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