Secret Archives of the Vatican

Origins: Damascus, Marrakech, Croydon
Styles: Chillout, world groove, Middle Eastern fusion, Turkish, Persian
Discography: 2015 – Damascene
2014 – Storytellers
2013 – Storms
2012 – War on Terra
2012 – Panjandrum
2011 – Barbary Lion
2010 – Dreams and Visions
2010 – Wisdom Truth EP
2010 – The Glidepath EP
2008 – Babylon Halt
2004 – Six Years in Babylon
2001 – Dust: The Remixes
1998 – Reformation
Web Site: brokendrumrecords.com

This is the best artist you’ve never heard of, and that’s a shame (that you haven’t heard of them not that Secret Archives of the Vatican are so good.) The name is little indication of the group’s music, except to suggest mystery and the promise of discovering long-hidden treasures. Secret Archives of the Vatican is a trans-world fusion project that does not limit itself to one set of cultural influences. They take more Turkish and Arabian traditions than others but you can hear strains of music from all over the world in their songs.

“We wish to introduce our listeners to musical forms that have roots outside of the UK and USA, to rhythms other than 4/4 time and to tuning systems other than the standard Western tempered tuning used in all pop, rock, classical music and electronica. However, we don’t do this for the sake of it and some of our tunes are within those constrictions. We can do whatever we want, any old time.”

When most people think of Middle Eastern music they understandably think of belly dance music. Secret Archives of the Vatican is decidedly not belly dance music. Their sound is not dance music but concert music of cinematic mood altering substance spiced with heavy, heady dub. They describe it as” transglobal breakbeat dub science” which is as good a label as any for their funky mix of Arabian night music, dubstep, and electronica. In my opinion, they have the best album and publicity art – see for yourself.

The primary members of the project are Vince Millett, Louis Counter, Peter Sharpe, and Ginger Shinobi. Vince is the powerhouse at the center of the collective.He has toiled away for years at a tiny studio in Croydon trying to save the world from boring normal music. The members have multiple side projects including Thousand Yard Prayer, Uncle Riotous, The Talking Dog, and Souq Dragon.

Avoiding the theological implications of their claim to be “on a mission from God” I can say that Secret Archives of the Vatican is a revelation and fresh air in a world music area that had become stale. They do not often perform live, but they are a treat to see and hear.

Purchase and download their music and be awakened.

Secret Archives on Stage

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