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The Age of Resistance – Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 145

August 24, 2019

Here is episode 145 of our podcast and we have some particularly fine tunes in this one!

Of particular note are the Massive Attack track, from a newly released remastered edition of Mezzanine  which comes with a  full CD of Mad Professor dubs and the Secret Archives of the Vatican track from our forthcoming release, Khorasan.


1 VFM Style – Kurdi (Original Mix)
2 Secret Archives of the Vatican – The Ifrit of the Black Stone Pillar
3 Halfred x Manohara – Totem
4 Massive Attack – Teardrop (Mazaruni Dub One)
5 Tikki Masala & Martyn Zij – Metenchi Sync (Feat. Avi Adir)
6 Flextronic – Subtropic
7 Autonomaton – USA created Isis
8 Fedayi Pacha – Jalal Eddine Dub

“This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people – they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.”
Philip K. Dick

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Listen to our previous episodes.

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.


In Khorasan

August 19, 2019

Secret Archives of the Vatican has a new album coming out on 6 September 2019 called Khorasan.  By coincidence, we came across this completely unrelated album today on Bandcamp.

Kamelmauz released this album in  2001 and calls the music World Hed Music.  He suggests the influence  of Bryn Jones (Muslimgauze), an artist who we’d also name drop.  In Kamelmauz‘s case, as in ours, the influence is more conceptual than sonic.

It looks like Kamelmauz was still releasing music as recently as 2015.

We like this. Have a listen.

Ethnostep 9 – excellent free compilation!

July 13, 2019

The latest release on the Subbass label is the ninth in the Ethnostep series. We’ve had tracks on some of the previous releases and we have two on this one, one from Secret Archives of the Vatican and one from Thousand Yard Prayer.   This is our favourite album in the series so far…there are some amazing tunes!  Our top pick would be Tikki Masala & Martyn Zij with Metenchi Sync (featuring Avi Adir) but it’s a hard choice as the quality is high.

They say:   Here it is – the 9th compilation of Ethnostep from Subbass Netlabel, a fusion of trance, bass, tribal, dubstep etc,  lots of great ethno-dub tunes from all over the globe, both contemplative and dancing, traditional and futuristic.  What is remarkable, the musicians do not pursue any commercial interests with this project. It is their interest to spread this beautiful vibration to this world in which we all live together.

There is a deeper explanation of the philosophy of this series of albums on the Bandcamp page.

Official release date is 14 July 2019, which is International Netlabel Day.

Orientalist Trap – Secret Archives of the Vatican Podcast 144

July 12, 2019

We have just uploaded a new episode of our podcast!


1  Biz – Hijab (2019 Mix)
2  Secret Archives of the Vatican – Prayer is Better then Sleep
3  TN Beats – Cleopatra
4  Thousand Yard Prayer – Afshin
5  VFM style – Egyptian King (Original Mix)
6  ASADI – Nazeri (Original Mix)
7  Thousand Yard Prayer – A City Named Abunhiswar
8  Fedayi Pacha – 50 Cent Vs Oum Kalthoum (Selecta Pacha mash-up)

If you like this music, please stream or download these artists’ music from their various music sharing sites.


VFM Style – Arab Trap at its best

July 11, 2019

I’ve recently come across various tracks by a Russia-based act called VFM Style on Spotify.   I guess you could call their genre Arab Trap but there is some Bollywood/South Asian influence too.  Arab Trap (and Persian Trap) are of obvious interest to us and we really like what they do. We recommend you check their music out!

They have several tunes on SoundCloud.  They also have a lot of great material on YouTube where they have more than 25,000 subscribers to their channel.  Their Bandcamp page is a little sparse – I wouldn’t bother.

So, we recommend that you check them out on Spotify, particularly a 50 song album called Ai Aruba which I think shows of their material to best effect.

We like music

Uncle Riotous vs The Keeper of the Archives

June 28, 2019

Here’s a link to a remix album we released in 2002.

The artwork was by our friend, Oliver Jelf,  and he went for a computer game look.

So much of our early work (and our more recent work…) was heard by a very small number of people but deserved more attention.  If we can find good quality files, we ‘ll get this up on Bandcamp in due course.

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