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Space, Sales and Scrambled Eggs 

First off, delighted that my former Dark Outside contribution Murray's Theme (distantly inspired by Mort Garson and the Star Trek theme) has been on Andrew Morrison's show throughout April on Dandelion Radio. You can listen back to the show below.

Additionally, whilst shifting a few things around, I uncovered a box of Gilded Cage records that were damaged in transit when I originally had them made (split seams). I've decided to put a few on the site for £5 plus postage over here.

Finally, it's one of the puppets as you've never seen them before

Return to Render 

Ahead of several releases going up on streaming services and keen to do some more video things, I have been working on a video (shot by Rob Quickenden) for Is It Too Late For Fan Clubs? which should go up very soon. Unless this whole thing turns out to be a setup for a very elaborate April Fools' Day post*?

In the meantime, here's another puppet having a terrible time (which is becoming something of a theme) and a short trailer (wish I still had some of those outfits)…

*It isn't, although I can be seen sporting some clown accessories in the main video.

All Ears On Deck 

Those of an electronic persuasion can hear You Live Alone, taken from Apophonia, on a new Beachy Head Radio Deck Chair mix below from Simon Heartfield. It's also features a collaborative track from Simon Heartfield's new release on it and something by 65daysofstatic, who I've seen play a number of times, including their live accompaniment and rescoring of the film Silent Running, which is well worth searching out (and may have filmic links to another song under the old CURXES name).

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 And Filtered
He Can Jog - Spark (Will Long Remix)
abstract poem - where the bird finds solace in memories etched into its feathers (grief is a paper bird flying through a burning forest – part 1)
Jean Tinguely - Sculpture at The Tate (4)
Garden Path - Get Her Mummy
Antez & Seijiro Murayama - Antez & Seiji 01
David Birchall / Andrew Cheetham / Colin Webster / Otto Willberg - Ask A Clown Or The First Face You See That Day
Lamina - Sous la terre
DeForrest Brown, Jr. & James Hoff - Project for Revolution in New York
Anna Xambo - mnnw (extract)
Dusepo - Dashti Karevan
Harry Partch - Castor & Pollux: A Dance for the Twin Rhythms of Gemini: From Plectra & Percussion Dances
Hell on Hearth - one hundred and seventeen.
Roberta Fidora - Murray's Theme

Listen on or hit the play button below.


Additionally, several of my releases are now available through and Mirlo (as well as Bandcamp and here on the website). I may add the CURXES releases later on as well, but if you have any strong opinions either way, you can send a message through the contact door or over on Mastodon.

Dandelion Jam 

Just a short update to say that I am currently uploading a number of my releases to, because I think the cooperative model is something that more people should explore and support and I'm delighted to see the folks who helped to build BBC Introducing creating something in this area.

Secondly, in addition to spins from radio free fedi, you can tune into Dandelion Radio throughout the month of December and hear one of my tracks on Andy's show

Also, there are now some Little Bobby t-shirts. If you buy an anti-Little Bobby design, I hope you have a wonderful festive season. If you buy a shirt showing your love of Little Bobby, I probably won't respond to your emails or sign your merch.

Spectres, Ghosts and Phantoms 

Keeping the collaborative spirit going, here's something new by Phantoms Vs Fire, which features some vocals from myself and many magnificent synth sounds. Listen below.

P. S. If you belong to the Neighbourhood, there's something for you already. You can download them from Bandcamp or through the main website.

P.P.S. No puppets were harmed in the making of this release (for that, you'll have to go over here).

The Orb One Out 

I recently contributed some vocals to a project by Simon Heartfield and they found their way into this atmospheric, immersive mix from when he supported The Orb last Thursday (full selection can be found by clicking the title). Hopefully the visuals will be up soon too, but until then, listen below.

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 watch too, pending the next instalment.

Speaking of festive and puppets, I knew buying this tiny deckchair would be a great investment. Merry Christmas. 🐻🎄
Bear wooden finger puppet sat in chair wearing a Christmas hat, with a bottle of Blue Nun.P. S. As always, suitably wintery versions of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and I Believe in Father Christmas are available to download for free by clicking on the song titles or over on Bandcamp. Thanks to Rob at Synth City for playing the Greg Lake cover.

Rewinding Cassettes: A Tape Miscellany 

As many of the places for finding inspiration and discovering visual archives are shapeshifting again, I'm reminded that I should gather more things together and display them here, lest they disappear into some digital ether, along with all my best Myspace angles, birthday reminders (which were fairly handy actually) and NIN-adjacent MSN names. With that in mind, here are a few cassette-themed bits and pieces that I've been perusing recently for design referencing and general time-wasting purposes. Enjoy!

  1. A cassette deck that looks vaguely like a children's toy.   

2. A huge collection of tape inserts.
A collection of card tape inserts, including Memorex, Boots and Agfa brands.A collection of card tape inserts, including Memorex, Boots and Agfa brands.

3. An even bigger, searchable collection of labels and shells to go with them from
A collection of plastic tape shells, mostly with red detailing, showcasing a multitude of retro typography.

4. A Japanese cassette archive, via the consistently interesting Present & Correct.
Four Japanese cassettes, which showcase their vintage, geometric-style design.

5. A Tumblr gathering tape-adjacent rarities and oddities (sadly, it doesn't seem to have been updated in a while).
A retro, portable Mayfair tape recorder with a bright yellow box, which features old, 50s-style line illustrations of where it might be used.

6. A vintage Walkman database, which collates prices from old advertisements and lists their original selling price.

7. Boomboxes beyond your wildest imagination.
A disco boombox, photographed in the daytime, where four bulbs are shown in the centre of the speakers. It is bulky and has 80s styling.Four glowing, bright colour bulbs, which continue from the picture above, with smaller, multicoloured lights dotted around. This is the boombox photographed in darkness, looking almost festive.

8. Casio taking an interesting turn below, with the KX-101. Miracles never cease. Quite.

9. Other companies also had a go.

10. Sony's Walkman exhibition, complete with a giant yellow one for snacking around.

11. Soundwave, a tape-themed Decepticon from Transformers, available to buy in 1985 as a useable cassette player, forced to listen your mixtapes forever (or until the batteries ran out).

12. Tape loops and how to make them.

13. Technics having too much fun in their adverts.

14. Walkman creatures by Sticky Monster Lab, found on a great art toy blog which features a few more examples.

15. Walkman Central exists for all your portable listening and cataloguing needs, even twin door versions for home taping away from home. Photo from here.

16. A look at the Sony Walkman logo and the obscure typeface it was based on.

For more of this sort of thing, there is always my newsletter, which combines a lot of niche interests with what I'm up to. 🗞️

The Dark Outside is 10! 🎂 

Coaster by Tether.

Earlier in the year, I released my two space EPs with the finest cassette label and broadcaster in Dumfries and Galloway and was beyond delighted that they sold out in under 24 hours (especially in the post-Christmas period - arguably one of the most miserable times of year, perhaps second only to the hellscape known commonly as "summer"). My copies take pride of place in my tape collection, along with some of the earlier fever dream-esque Dark Outside compilations.

Long before this though, I used to send in songs to the radio broadcast component, which takes place in a forest. Sometimes it would be brief sketches sent in, or some horribly peaked-out demo of old. One year it was some dialogue about top secret space documents dumped in a church. Another was a piece that I'm fairly certain was the one I saw described as "two ghosts getting married", although I don't know for certain because I got up to make a cuppa and missed part of the broadcast. This year I will strap a radio to my belt, as is the style of the time. Every broadcast spans 24 hours, so I recommend keeping a portable listening device on backup duty to enjoy the whole thing uninterrupted. You don't want to miss a Radio Cree ident or a techno banger made from washing machines because you got up to make a sandwich.

That's the beauty of these broadcasts each year: you can send in whatever you like, as long as nobody has heard it before. It might then be heard by a goat herd, or nodded along to by someone clutching a fog-obscured biscuit, wandering about onsite with a small radio. Once the transmission ends, it's deleted, gone forever; or until you find it in a folder on your computer again decades from now marked "My Recording Final V10 FINAL". I think the first thing I ever sent in, under the Curxes name, was a brass band composition called State Poet that I made in Reason 2.5, which has yet to see the light of day (brass bands can contact me at the top of the page if the season is slow and you want to lend a tuba or similar to some sad music).

The significant thing about all of this of course, is that the first Dark Outside broadcast was ten years ago, and therefore 2022 is the anniversary of that "stupid" idea - someone else's words apparently, who is probably busy eating them right now like a delicious custard cream. This time around, a remix of something old, a 60s-style space theme and a cut 'n' paste track have been sent from island to forest. You might listen in and catch one of them, with creepy singing children, gloomy monks and an oddly-looped country guitar, because, as I have already mentioned, you and I can send in whatever we want before the deadline, as long as it isn't up anywhere else.

With that in mind, I hope you'll tune in to hear the wealth of wonky and way-out submissions over here (stream will be live from October 1st from midday UK time) and raise your chocolate digestives (or biscuit of your choice), to another ten years of weirdness in the wilderness. 🌲📻

Won't You Be My Neighbour? 

No new releases for Bandcamp Friday tomorrow (still on a learning and muttering under my breath curve), but I did make a video a few days ago which brings together my childhood TV habits, sandcastles and celebrity rocks in support of the Neighbourhood. I got stung by a wasp filming it so please give it a watch and help me feel like the suffering for art wasn’t in vain. Will keep you posted if any baby insects burst out of my leg.

With apologies to Ron Mael from Sparks, Matthew Corbett and everyone on Ryde seafront just trying to have a nice, normal bank holiday. 🎬


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 satellite theme has now gotten slightly bigger and, as a collective label effort, now encompasses a new project from Dom Deane, which I'm sure a lot of you will love if your heart is where the arp is. We have a makeshift website and newsletter, but have successfully avoided a podcast thus far (nobody wants to hear awkward mumbling on the radio, I'm sure).

If you can't stay cool in the sun, at least you can be cool checking out the stuff above. 😎

Spring Clean 

So you might've noticed that the website is looking a bit fancier. We're very much back from space travels now and I decided to do some digital DIY. Hope you like it.

Also, I've made several improvements to the Neighbourhood. You can join up via Bandcamp and any newbies who do so during April will get a bonus CD as well as a limited edition cassette. I accumulated quite a lot of songs during lockdown so let's see how many we can get finished this year...

Finally, it's ten years since Haunted Gold was released. Here's the animated video that came out shortly beforehand - I was scanning away in the evenings after work and despite meticulous hoovering, I never quite got rid of all the glitter. See if you can spot the Barney Bubbles and brief Depeche Mode references as they pop up!

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 there). Now you can say you've heard the word about the bird and all that.

Start the countdown!

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 (hey, that's me) on Twitter and I will DM you your corresponding Bandcamp codes - there will be one for each side as they're on Bandcamp as two separate releases. Any problems or questions about codes, you can contact me here.

Satellites of love to all. ❤️🛰️

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    In Your Neighbourhood

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