Viewing: BLACK ARROW - View all posts

Murray's Theme on NTS 

Fractal Meat on a Spongy Bone anyone? That's where you can feast on Murray's Theme, plus a whole host of other sonic treats on NTS Radio. Graham Dunning, of modified turntable and Mammoth Beat Organ fame, hosts the show and the tracklist is as follows:

Ikue Mori - Conflict
Amy Sterly - I Found The Note
Jean VOGUET - Pièces et Miniatures pour UNE GUITARE ÉLECTRIQUE SEULE N°3
Shit & Shine - Joy_12
Iran Sanadzadeh - Oblique Moons
Viola Yip - Viola Yip at Music/Fun April 24, 2020
Max Eastley - Centriphone, Amplified

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X-3, 2, 1...Blast Off! 


I hope the year is treating you well a few days in. Today is sponsored by the letter 'X' and the numbers 1971 and 2023.

X-3 was another name given to the Prospero satellite, launched by the BLACK ARROW rocket in 1971 (a technical overview can be found on the Wight Aviation Museum website) and X-1 is shorthand for a radio show on Satsuma Radio and Mixcloud that plays all manner of electronic oddities, including some highlights from BLACK ARROW, which concluded the most recent show.

Apparently there was a radio…

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Season's Greetings! 

Maybe it should be renamed Dark Krampus instead of Dark Compass given the time of year, but it's always nice to see songs getting a play on the radio, in this case, the song is In Your Neighbourhood

On that vague song theme, this year's festive Neighbourbood card has now been posted and there is a new collection of things over there which provides a backdrop to my previous seasonal efforts (and a whole lot of hoarding). Last year's festive episode of your favourite puppet adventures is also available to…

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Inspector Horse and Other Communications 

I was fully intending to make some equus puns, but it's even too hot for horse jokes. Instead, I will just share this new horse-themed album from Glass Grave, which I recently contributed to (Neighbourhood folks, check your emails/Bandcamp for a download code). 



Also, for anyone that owns a BLACK ARROW record, you might recognise the release imprint BLACK ARROW COMMUNICATIONS and the "BAC" logo, which is part-broadcasting icon and part retro airline graphic. What started as just a riff on the rocket and…

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TGIBF (Thank God It's Bandcamp Friday)! 

They're back! Bandcamp will be resuming Bandcamp Fridays in 2022. They'll be on February 4th, March 4th, April 1st, and May 6th.

As a small token of appreciation, every order (at least until we run out) placed on Bandcamp Friday will get a shiny new "Fidoratone" sticker, inspired by a long, meandering thread on synth logos and locally, lovingly made by our friends over the water at Sticker Freak (they're fellow fans of retro design and everything hauntology and horror-adjacent, so have a virtual wander over…

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Thank You! 

Just a quick post to say thanks to everybody who picked up a copy of the recent cassette release of BLACK ARROW and ETHER/ORBIT from The Dark Outside. It was amazing to see 100 tapes sell out in under 24 hours and even more incredible that the obi edition was sold out by 18:01 (having gone up at 18:00)!


Appreciate all the folks who enthusiastically shared updates about it too and look forward to seeing those tapes in their new homes! If you do fancy sharing a pic, tag both @DarkOutside and @RobertaFidora

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Space Spools 

What's that, you say? The splendid Dark Outside label is releasing BLACK ARROW and ETHER/ORBIT together on a special dual colour cassette?


That's right! Tapes will be limited to 100 copies, so make sure you set your alarm for launch and bookmark on Bandcamp ready for blast off tomorrow, Friday 14th January, at 6pm (Greenwich/Galloway Mean Time). You can also get an additional nudge via the mailing list, which is a good idea, as they often sell out quickly.

I've been sending demos and oddities to The Dark

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Patch Bay 

As it turns out, I’ve accumulated quite a lot of my own space junk (some of which you can see in the video for The Stars, Like Dust) and whilst you can find Apollo moon landing commemorative plates, NASA mission patches and everything from Sputnik t-shirts to Cosmonaut Christmas decorations, there really isn’t much beyond a first day cover for BLACK ARROW or Prospero (and I only know that because Marlene, who I interviewed for BLACK ARROW, told me about having this lone souvenir at home - with a copy…

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ETHER/ORBIT 

Lost to the atmosphere or coming down to Earth? That's the question often asked in relation to the Prospero satellite, which is still floating around in low orbit, since being successfully launched by the BLACK ARROW rocket on the 28th October, 1971. 

To mark this anniversary, I will be releasing a companion piece to BLACK ARROW called ETHER/ORBIT and it will be available as a digital download from Thursday here on the website and via Bandcamp.

For those who prefer their satellite sounds with a side of…

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Back to BLACK ARROW 

Today marks a year since BLACK ARROW was released. This article from Mark Brown was something I read early on when researching more about it, which gives a good overview of the kinds of topics covered in the conversation with Marlene and probably best describes many of the ideas I wanted to explore further around this small chapter in the history of space and satellites. It talks about unrealised futures, the relief from several people who worked on it at pivoting to space-focused projects from missiles and…

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Invisible Waves and Seasonal Joints 

When everything has felt firmly glued to the spot (and the sofa at certain points), I'd like to say thank you to everyone who joined me for a trip into space, with a special nod to Wavegirl, Simon and The Joint radio show (already well into 2021) for their kind end-of-year words and airplay. It's been really lovely and encouraging to read.

Best EP of 2020:

Roberta Fidora - Black Arrow

This is a work of stunning beauty from beginning to end, coupled with the artwork... wow!
I really can't wait to see what…

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The Da-Dark Outside 

Set your radios to hum, because it's time for another instalment of The Dark Outside (the broadcast where you could hear anything from an acid banger to a particularly beautiful washing machine), this time as part of Aerial Festival. Join in here and listen out for something about top secret rocket documents or that sounds like wind whistling through island deckchairs. You can also follow along on Twitter as you listen.

Photo shared by Pete Warren.

Further Into Luna 

Continuing the cosmos theme from BLACK ARROW (and the eagle-eyed may have already spotted it here, hence the post title), you can find my remix of Luna Still, a song from the forthcoming isvisible isinvisible album Moon-White Water. The remix combines the original synth textures and bloops with a vocal sample from something I haven't released yet, just to be incredibly mysterious. You can listen to all of the album remixes and bag yourself a very nice-looking cassette below.

Sunday Seance 

I was listening to the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack yesterday whilst swimming through the internet of opinions and ended up feeling several inches shorter. What I should have been doing instead, was summoning up some space sounds with Simon Heartfield below, on his Secret Self show on Seance Radio.

Secret Self Radio Show · Secret Self: Seance Radio Show 078

Enjoy this most excellent mix. ✨

BLACK ARROW is available here or via Bandcamp.

Listen to Simon's new release Mythologies on Bandcamp.

Blast Off! 

BLACK ARROW is out today! Thanks to everyone who's taken the trip with me and to everyone who sent me a picture of their record too - I've enjoyed seeing a little piece of space on synths (thanks to Simon Pott for the main picture), sound setups and beyond (with the Take Hart music looped in my head)!

It's also been nice to be able to chat to people about the release and hear it played elsewhere, so a big thank you to The Dark Inside, SonOfMarketing, SoundGym and We Buy Records podcast for providing a…

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Here Comes The Son 

A huge thank you to SonOfMarketing, who have featured my forthcoming EP BLACK ARROW on their site, alongside a description of the project. You can read about it and stream the excerpt here.

Rocketronica and Retrophonica 

 

I hope you've been enjoying hearing a little piece of space history this last week (don't forget you can download it free here or via Bandcamp here). I've been compiling footage and photos the last few days of the original testing site here on the Isle of Wight from a few trips there last year and it's been nice to visit it again via my computer whilst the real thing is currently out of bounds. If you'd like to visit the digital outdoors too, there's a couple of videos below.

Short trailer:

Longer…

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Rocket Fuels On Rocket Fuels 

Last year (or what feels like another 50 years ago), we celebrated the moon landing anniversary, an event that has inspired countless retellings and re-imaginings through television, film, design and song. A historic occasion that gave people the opportunity to imagine little pieces of the universe for themselves, to ponder what else might exist beyond our planet and where we imagined belonging to another, better future than the one we have now. 

So imagine my surprise when, in 2018, I stumbled across a…

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The Stars, Like Calbourne 

Turns out that I only live a few minutes away from a real-life version of The Stars, Like Dust. There’s an extensive article here about the Isle of Wight’s role in the space race, which is amazing and kind of weird.

Worth a read/view too, is this incredible project by Katayoun Dowlatshahi, which was based on the above discovery about rocket testing on the island. 

Thanks to Joe from Horseflies for the link!

I also saw a 1940s robot made from part of an RAF Bomber radio set, among other things.

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