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Veiled Beauty: Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 150

June 30, 2020

Why make podcasts?
We started a podcast many years ago after attending a music business seminar where we were told it was a good way to promote our music. We rapidly ran out of our own music to play (we’re more prolific now!) so we started playing excellent tunes by musician friends too. We then moved on to music by artists from around the world who were making music that works alongside ours. We only play what we like, so the podcast is an indicator of our personal musical taste.

Why is the podcast now only on MixCloud, not on podcast sites?
Podcast hosting sites are overly pernickety about copyright. MixCloud somehow deals with all that. They must have some kind of blanket license. This shows itself in that shows cannot be downloaded and that their player only reveals the name of a track as playback gets to that track.

Episode 150
Here’s episode 150. We name our episodes, for no real reason, and I think we’ve re-used a name here. Hey, it’s our podcast and we can do what we like. For this episode, we pushed into some even less mainstream territory than usual but we found some real gems.


1 Secret Archives of the Vatican – All Empires Die
2 Naujawanan Baidar – Chaikhana Transistor
3 DRAAMA – Underbelly – Making Of Pogrom
4 Naujawanan Baidar – Mohajerin
5 Steff3Beatz – Its Marrakech Drift
6 Stephano – Ibathel.(feat.Yassian Sanina)
7 Thousand Yard Prayer – Qalankhkai
8 Persian – Parvaaneh
9 KRS-One/mashup – Sound of Da Police
10 E.A.R. – Uşşak Saz Semâisi

Arakeen Resistance

June 28, 2020

For no real reason, the last few Secret Archives of the Vatican tunes have been Dune related. I’m guessing it’s because:

We like deserts and Arabic cultural references
We love epic science fiction
The forthcoming Dune film is in our consciousness

Here’s this week’s release. If any of you are wondering where the vocal “sample” has come from…it’s not a sample as such. We found a free online text-to-voice converter…very useful!

This track is a little longer than most of our recent releases – just because we felt like it. Technically, it’s a drum and bass tune but the drums don’t arrive for several minutes. Maybe there’s a hint of prog rock about it but without the rock.

Second video for Lady of Green Silences

June 27, 2020

Here is the second video we’ve made for Lady of Green Silences.

Why? Because we could and we found some video footage that works well with the source material that inspired the track. This new video is totally different from the first video.

One problem we definitely have when making videos for Thousand Yard Prayer or Secret Archives of the Vatican is that the musical flavours we use and the subject matter we draw our titles from are very tricky when it comes to finding footage to use. These days we aspire to keep our use of video footage and samples as legal as we can so we struggle to find sources.

New video: The Last Days of Babylon

June 26, 2020

Here’s a new video for one of our recent tunes. It’s a little different from what we’d normally do but was made on our usual budget – less than £25!

We have no idea what genre of music this is…it’s kind of a post-dubstep thing but has frame drums, a middle eastern flute, language-less vocals and a soupçon of Croydon bass wubwub.

For you musicians, it’s in 9/4 time (a very slowed down Greek zeymbekiko rhythm) and the musical scale it’s built on is Arabian, Maqam Saba Zamzamah. It sounds slightly prog rock-ish to us but that wasn’t planned.

I Am The Lore: video

June 21, 2020

We made a video for one of our recent releases, I Am The Lore.

This video is a wander through some of our art book collection, showing images from some of our favourite artists such as Simon Bisley, Jim Fitzpatrick, Brian Froud and more. These artists are inspirational and we try to do with music what they have done with visual arts. Please support them by buying their products.

We’d love to make fully animated videos exploring the middle eastern, central Asian, 1001 Nights, flavoured science fiction world that our music inhabits but unfortunately we don’t have adequate skills to do it ourselves or money to pay someone else to do it for us.

Films and games
However, we’re happy for film makers or maybe game designers to use our music in their creations. That would be interesting!

Fear is the mindkiller…

June 19, 2020

We’re releasing singles about every week during this summer. Here’s today’s. We put them up on Bandcamp and then we send them to our distributor (Distrokid) to send the tunes to Spotify and all the streaming and download sites. It takes a while before they are available as some sites like a little lead time. That makes little difference to us – almost no-one buys or streams our tunes from anywhere other than Bandcamp anyway!

This tune is at 140 bpm (traditionally dubstep tempo) but it has more of a chilled psy-dub vibe.

How we create our cover art

June 18, 2020

Here’s a short video about how we have been making our cover art in this period when we’re producing at least a track a week and haven’t got time to create our own artwork from scratch as well.

My Name Is A Killing Word

June 15, 2020

COVID-19 music
Here is another track in our rapidly increasing collection of releases during this COVID-19 pandemic. We’re attempting to record a track every day or two when we’re not at work.

The discipline of writing and recording in a single day forces decision making and commitment. If you’re not a musician, or don’t make electronic, studio-based music, you probably don’t realise how hard it can be for producers to actually complete a piece of music and release it. As soon as you’re in the digital realm, nothing is ever finished – it can always be tweaked to make it that tiny bit better. Deciding that it will be finished today forces decision making.

My name is a killing word…
This is a second track with a Dune related title, for no real reason. A Dune theme, however, lends itself to our preoccupations with middle eastern references and science fiction. We might do more, particularly in light of the forthcoming film which is getting Dune fans all excited as it seems like it will avoid some of the bad aspects of previous projects. We’ll see.

This track is in 9/8 time, using an Arabian rhythm called Aqsaq Araj. It’s at 170 bpm, typically associated with drum and bass. This might be a drum and bass tune. The musical mode/scale we have used is Maqam Shehnaz Kurdi: D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C#, D. Once again, setting a restriction on the notes one can use forces decision making; paradoxically, it is easier to write with a restriction than with a blank page.

Saint Alia of the Knife

June 9, 2020

Here’s a new drum and bass tune. It started out as an attempt to create some neuro tech drum and bass but, as always with us, it wandered off somewhere along the way and came out sounding like us.

If you know who Saint Alia will be, then you know.

I Am The Lore

June 7, 2020

We’re trying to release a track a week during the pandemic. We feel that we don’t want to collect tracks and release them as album collections right now; we want to release our music when it is recorded.

We’ve been scouring our studio recording system and finding tracks that we started a while back but abandoned. Sometimes we had an idea, maybe for a drum rhythm or a sound but it didn’t seem to lead anywhere and we moved on. In the meantime, we’ve learned more and have more software and virtual instruments available to us. This one is one of these tunes. We had a basic groove but little in the way of melody instruments. We completed it today and we’re very happy with it.

I Am The Lore
It’s a drum and bass tune – but done in our unique style. It features a Turkish ney flute, a medieval Viola Da Gamba and some traditional Croydon bass electronica.

For you musicians – it’s built on a 14/4 time beat called Niim al Hazaj and the musical mode/scale we’ve used is Maqam Hijaz.

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