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August 5, 2020

Time travel
If you watched our recent video, Time Travel – our music production, you’ll know we just acquired some amazing software that allows us to add authentic Viking and medieval instruments to our usual middle-eastern flavoured melange. We’re still finding our way around it but here’s a track we made today that we’re really happy with.

This track features a veritable wall of Norse percussion, two different Viking lyras, a tagelharpa, a Persian ney, some Inuit throat singing and a small amount of electronica. Oh, and some violins and cellos. There is no drum kit and there is no bass line.

We want to hear from you
Please comment and, if you like the track, please share it. It’ll be on Spotify on 4 September 2020 but here it is on Bandcamp right now!

Basir’s Tongue

August 2, 2020

Basir’s Tongue is the title of a new tune by Thousand Yard Prayer.

This track uses middle eastern, medieval and ancient northern European instruments, playing a middle eastern maqam (scale/mode) in a music that is uniquely ours. Unusually for us, there are no synthesisers or drum kits in this track.

We’ve been listening to some Scandinavian Viking folk and ritual music, such artists as Wardruna, Eldrim and Heilung. We like the sounds and we’re working on a way to incorporate some of that Norse sound into our usual middle eastern and central Asian flavoured creations. If anyone can achieve this, it’s us at Broken Drum Records!

Where from?
As for the title…it’s a very obscure literary reference and you’ll need to be very familiar with a very old but awesome fantasy novel to know what it refers to.

Time Travel – our music production

August 1, 2020

Here’s a short video about how we started our music production but it’s mostly about what we’re planning on doing next.

Stars End

July 24, 2020

This week’s new tune
110bpm Orientalist Trapstep…or something like that. Hey, maybe we just invented a new sub-genre!

Science fiction
There are two classic science fiction references here, in the title and vocal sample, and your challenge is to identify both. Titles and authors!

We didn’t involve any apostrophes in the title. This was to avoid issues with upload sites that get confused. It keeps it slightly vague anyway, which we like.

The cover art reflects the artwork that adorned the covers of pulp science fiction books and magazines in that glorious era of the imagination.

The Fall of Trantor

July 18, 2020

Weekly offering
We’ve been trying to release at least one track a week during this pandemic period. Here’s this week’s offering, from Secret Archives of the Vatican.

It’s another tune where acoustic middle eastern instruments collide with some Croydon bass electronica. That’s what we do!

For you musicians, the rhythm is 9/4 time, called Aghr Aqsaq. The scale/mode/maqam used is Maqam Kurd which is the same as a western Phrygian mode.

Warr…what is it good for?

July 14, 2020

We like unusual musical instruments. One of these is the Warr guitar, an instrument that covers the ranges normally covered by bass and guitar, in a 7 to 14 stringed configuration.

Bandcamp (our favourite online music source) sometimes features articles that introduce readers to an area of music they may not previously have experienced. Here’s an excellent short introduction to the Warr guitar with links to several examples of the instrument in action.

We particularly recommend the EAR album.

A Listener’s Guide to Warr Guitar Music, Land of the 14-String Behemoths

Netlabel Day 2020…and volume 10 of Ethnostep

July 13, 2020

14 July 2020 is Netlabel Day. The Subbass Netlabel is releasing the tenth volume in their excellent Ethnostep compilation series.

We have two tracks in this excellent collection:

Secret TombThousand Yard Prayer
The Last Days of Babylon – Secret Archives of the Vatican.

Most of the other artists on the compilation are familiar to us and all make music that you should check out.

You can stream it or download Ethnostep 10 free – or choose to pay some money.

Shoulder Your Drum And Find Your Way Home

July 12, 2020

Here is a new tune by Thousand Yard Prayer.

We know this isn’t a pop tune. It’ll demand something of you.

It’s at 85 bpm, in 7/8 time, an Arabian rhythm called Dawr Hindi. We have used a maqam/scale/mode called Saba Busalik. However, we have made no attempt to create anything that sounds Arabian. This is our unique sound, ignored by the world since 2002. Or 1988, if you take our other artist name into account (Secret Archives of the Vatican).

The Varangian

July 12, 2020

What does genre mean anyway?
Here at Broken Drum Records, we’re not too concerned with making music that fits any specific genre. In fact, that’s mostly because we’re not able to. Whatever we do comes out sounding like us and usually doesn’t quite fit any genre we’re aiming at.

Drum and bass
We love DnB but when we dial up a current DnB playlist on Spotify, most of seems a bit “meh!”. Old Dnb, when it still showed its junglist roots, seems to kick harder. Anyway, that’s all just an aside. To business!

The Varangian
Here’s a tune we have just released. It’s drum and bass with a neurotech feel but like so much of our music, it brings in some sounds and ideas from whatever we’ve been listening to or whatever has captured our imagination. Lately, we’ve been listening to various artists from Nordic countries who make rootsy, pagan, earthy music. Our way of connecting that with our general Middle Eastern, Central Asian sound is to think about where the Norse nations interacted with the Byzantine empire. We’ve used some medieval and Middle Eastern instruments.

The Varangians was the name given by Greeks, Rus people, and others to Vikings, who between the 9th and 11th centuries ruled the medieval state of Kievan Rus, which was in parts of what is now Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Some of these Vikings formed the Byzantine Varangian Guard.

The English connection
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, many Saxon warriors went to Constantinople to join the elite Varangian Guard. The Varangian Guard gradually changed from Scandinavian to English.

Alternative electronic music on radio in Jordan, Turkey, Palestine and Tunisia

July 10, 2020

There’s an excellent and interesting article on Resident Adviser about alternative electronic music on radio in Jordan, Turkey, Palestine and Tunisia (and a Moroccan show in France). It’s well worth a read and has some cool photos too. There are links to where you can hear some of the music.

There is SO much awesome music out there that the mainstream music industry has no interest in sharing with you. We love to share some of our discoveries with you in our podcast. Check out some of the music in this article.

Here’s the link:

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