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Changes in the music industry – what next?

September 24, 2018

SAotV Sep 2018

Formats

We’ve been releasing music since 1988. That’s a long time. We’ve seen scenes, formats, fashions and styles come and go.

We caught the tail end of the cassette trader scene, then the start of CDs. We saw the start, heyday and decline of mp3s and now the decline of downloads in any format. We have seen the start of streaming and we continue to watch and participate in the changes in the music world.

Sales and downloads

We never sold many cassettes. We didn’t sell many CDs and now we literally can’t give them away. We had more success with downloads, never selling many but achieving small but respectable numbers of downloads using a business model that combined Creative Commons share-as-you-like with pay-what-you-like. However, our Bandcamp downloads are drying up fast, despite us releasing new material regularly.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

Music business stats now show sales of physical media disappearing fast. Sales of downloads are dropping rapidly too. It seems everyone is streaming now. It seems over half of music is consumed on streaming services these days, generally legal and with either free or subscription services.

Streams

So we have reluctantly started uploading our music to Spotify and Apple Music. We will literally make no money ever from that but it has to be done if we ever want anyone to hear our music.  Fortunately we have day jobs.  Currently we pay an aggregator to add our music to these platforms so it costs us more than we make. However, Spotify has just announced that it will shortly be making direct, cost-free, uploading available to artists.

People

Our audience is two thirds male, one third female, and aged largely between 22 and 59. They are mostly in the USA and the UK but there are small numbers across the rest of the world.  Apparently, YouTube is a main source of new music for the under 20s but our fans do not go there for their music. We like making videos but perhaps we should not put too much effort into doing so in future.

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Albums and playlists

The album as a concept is almost dead in this new music scene. It has been replaced with playlists. We’re exploring that concept; it is an interesting development and we’re not ideologically opposed to it.

As we currently pay to get on Spotify, it makes no sense to upload all our old albums individually. Instead, we’re compiling our best tracks from previous releases and uploading them as “albums” but really the idea is to treat each track as a potential addition our own or others’ playlists.

The playlist concept is dependent on fans following and sharing the playlist or adding tracks to their own playlists. Because we make very niche genre music it is very unlikely we will ever get on the bigger, official, sponsored playlists. We are dependent on our fans’ enthusiasm and commitment.

We will continue to make music and we’ll see what happens.

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Here’s our first Spotify playlist

September 14, 2018

Here’s a Spotify playlist for the tunes we’ve just uploaded.   We hope you like this selection.

Please have a listen and follow Secret Archives of the Vatican and Thousand Yard Prayer artists’ pages.

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We’re on Spotify!

September 12, 2018

We’ve just added a 14 track compilation of tunes by Secret Archives of the Vatican and Thousand Yard Prayer to Spotify.  We’ve called it Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science. It’s a selection of tunes we think will work well in people’s playlists and that showcase what we do well.

It seems most people now access music by streaming rather than by buying physical media or downloads. Although we remain critical of Spotify‘s business model (paying artists almost nothing), we also want people to hear our music. We need to be on the streaming services.

If you use Spotify, please listen and “heart” us.

Add us to your playlist.

The more people add us to their playlists, the better chance we have of being added to the bigger playlists and reaching that wider audience that we think we deserve (in our not-so-humble opinion!).  We very much appreciate your support in this way.

Thanks!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3Y3wNyVhjM7hJvqlHmVvg7

Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science on Spotify

September 4, 2018
Spotify comp art20x20cm no label

Although we hate the Spotify business model (incredibly low payments to artists),  our music is simply not being heard using our current channels so we have bitten the bullet and created a release for Spotify (plus iTunes, Amazon etc).  We used to have content on various download stores but it was costing us more than we were making, so we stopped quite a while back. So, this is a one-year experiment and we’ll see this time. We know we won’t make any money but we need to be heard or there is no point making music.

 
We’ve created a 14 track compilation of some of our strongest tunes from various albums (Secret Archives of the Vatican and Thousand Yard Prayer). It’s called Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science and we’ll let you know when the aggregator checks it and gets it distributed.

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A mix we did for French radio

September 3, 2018

We like music

Back in late 2012 we provided a mix for some French radio stations. They have just posted it on MixCloud (Merci beaucoup!). There’s some talking about us and the mix before the mix starts to play and my French is bad enough that I can’t really follow or translate it. C’est la vie!

I can’t find the track list but it includes Peter Gabriel, Material, Liquid Stranger, Jef Stott, Kalya Scintilla, Celt Islam, AR Rahman and Secret Archives of the Vatican.

Profiter de cette!

https://www.mixcloud.com/solenopole/solénomix-secret-archives-of-the-vatican/

A new SAotV dub tune and how we made it

September 1, 2018

There’s nothing quite like going to a good gig to get the creative juices flowing…
I went to an event called Mishti Dance last night and saw two great DJs , DJ Isuru and Nerm but the main act I went to see was Aniruddha Das  aka Dr Das, the bass player with Asian Dub Foundation. On this occasion, he was in his incarnation as Dhangsha. This is experimental music – demanding but accessible electronica with a noted absence of dub basslines. (We had a brief chat about making music and martial arts!).

The music I heard was inspirational and made me want to come home and get busy in the studio, so I did.  Here is the tune I came up with. I called it Mishti Dub.

For those of you who make music, here’s what I did.
I found a couple of 4/4 time tabla grooves. Tabla can be very complex but here I wanted that hypnotic driving thing that works so well with a dub bassline. The bassline is from a Bill Laswell sample CD and so is the drum loop and the weird electronica sound. The melody instruments I programmed in Cakewalk and the sample library used was Best Service Ancient ERA Persia.  The female voice is from another old sample CD.  A mere seven mixing desk channels and only a few hours’ work but I’m happy with it!

 

Once Upon a Time it Was…the Middle Ages

August 29, 2018

Once Upon a Time it Was…the Middle Ages  is what we’ve called a mix we just uploaded to MixCloud.  It’s some tunes by artists we really like who make music that is medieval, modern-but-medieval-sounding or is written in related modal musical forms.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. Would you like us to do more mixes like this?

Tracks

1   Como al Pie del Suplicio Estuve  – Efrén López
2   De Santa María (Cantiga de Santa María, 13th century) – Al Andaluz Project
3   Durme / Bana Yücelerden Seyreden Dilber  – Aman Aman
4   Samai Al Thakil  – Ross Daly and Labyrinth
5   Vox Clamantis  – Luc Arbogast
6   El que vull  – L’ham De Foc
7   Game of Thrones – Luc Arbogast

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