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Our label’s musical influences

August 21, 2019

BDR_2019 first

Our label’s musical influences are many and here are some thoughts in no particular order…

Indian classical music
This was our first introduction to various sounds but also rhythms and melodic ideas far away from the rock music we’d grown up with. It also doesn’t rush – it allows an idea to develop over as much time as it needs.

Progressive rock
Prog rock can be unashamedly romantic in the true sense of the word. It can deal with themes well away from mundane real life – science fiction, heroic fantasy, mythology. We like to explore these themes in our music.  It also isn’t afraid to play with time signatures other than common time, 4/4. We like this.

Hip hop
We are not fans of mainstream hip hop, what one friend refers to as “pussy, pussy, bling, bling” music. These artists have nothing to say. We do like old school hip hop, though, before it was fully co-opted and emasculated by the record industry. When it still had something to say. Public Enemy, NWA etc. We also very much like Arabic flavoured hip hop, such artists as Narcy, Omar Effendum, Aiwa etc. I’m not sure how obvious this might be in our music but it is in there. Perhaps rhythmically.

Both Goa style trance and traditional trance orientated music forms such as Moroccan Gnawa music have repetition in common, a groove repeated and slowly evolving bringing the listener along with it. We like to play with repeating grooves very much.

Big Beat
Artists such as The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers were hugely influential in the early music of Secret Archives of the Vatican and Thousand Yard Prayer. ‘Nuff said.

Arabic, Persian and Turkish traditional musical forms
The rhythms, melodic ideas, tuning systems and instruments of this musical meta-culture are clearly a huge and ongoing influence. As time has gone by, our understanding has increased along with access to recording technology and sounds that make emulating some of this feasible. We are not, however, trying to make these genres – we hope that what we do is not the bad kind of cultural appropriation. No, we make our own music that is informed and enriched by ideas from these cultures.  There is no such thing as a “pure” culture, not influenced by other cultures.

Dubstep, drum and bass
Our musical world changed in an instant when we discovered our home town Croydon’s indigenous folk music, dubstep.  Bass was changed for ever. Drum and bass is closely related and we found that our South Asian influences fitted well  with drum and bass.

Asian Underground, global beats
Possibly the biggest influence of all. The early 90s Asian Underground scene introduced us to a world of musical ideas. The legendary Anokha compilation was seminal in our developing sound. The scene was also not entirely Asian – there was a huge Arabic influence too, through artists such as Transglobal Undergound and Natasha Atlas. This remains a core element in our music. We also like the political end of this scene, artists such as Fun-Da-Mental.

Heavy rock, heavy metal
Both Vince and Louis grew up listening to and playing various forms of the heavier end of rock.  The influence may not be obvious but it is definitely there, perhaps for the same reasons as progressive rock. Iron Maiden and Rush, Led Zeppelin and many more recent acts all have a big vision.

Dub has been a huge influence, although perhaps not so much in its most traditional Jamaican form. Bill Laswell has been our musical exemplar as he connects dub with many of the other musical roots we like.  We like digital dub, psy-dub and all the areas where dub merges with other genres.

Medieval music
We have recorded one or  two medieval pieces and there is definitely a medieval musical influence in Thousand Yard Prayer’s music.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Martin Kelly permalink
    August 21, 2019 10:55 am

    I am not an expert on anything much, except perhaps my job, but I can really see these influences throughout the body of work. Very beautiful and very welcome they are, too. Thanks for your lovely music. Just wish had more time on my hands to listen more!
    Best wishes.

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