Thursday 16 January 2014

The Conet Project - Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations (Irdial Discs 1997)

Accidently, during the cold war, spys made the weirdest music ever! Sounding like the fuzziest lo-fi electronic musique concrete this side of the berlin wall.
A short synopsis of what is contained on the four discs of this collection,is basically,the coded transmissions from various intelligence operatives from allover the world,which usually consist of repeated phrases,spoken number sequences,and looped passages of classical music.They used shortwave frquencies because they could be received using a normal transistor radio,and not attract suspicion.....spooky.
From the booklet : "For more than 30 years shortwave radio has been used by intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages, by hundreds of 'numbers stations'. They (and by inference, spies) are as busy as ever. Why is it that in over 30 years, the phenomenon has gone almost totally unreported? Why are the eastern European stations still on the air? How is it that they are allowed to interfere with services like air traffic control and shipping?"
The project's name comes from a mishearing of the Czech word konec, or "end," which marks the end of transmissions on the Czech numbers station.

A favourite instrument of the early DIY scene was always the shortwave radio, as it was quite easy to tune into something weird; little did we know we were listening to spy transmissions from some unscrupulous czech agent somewhere shadowy. This,along with W.S.Burroughs' tape experiments,was obviously the main influence for Cabaret Voltaire's basic sound.
Download and prepare for an erie and etherial experience.Basically this is fucking WEIRD!

Disc One:
CD1-01 (G2A) The Swedish Rhapsody
CD1-02 (G5) Counting
CD1-03 (E14) Counting ‘Control’
CD1-04 (E10) Phonetic Alphabet - NATO
CD1-05 (G13) 5 Dashes
CD1-06 (E3) The Lincolnshire Poacher
CD1-07 (G3) Gong Station / Chimes
CD1-08 (G14) DFD 21
CD1-09 (E1) Ready Ready (15728)
CD1-10 (S2B) Bugle
CD1-11 (S10) 5 Note Version ‘Czech Lady’
CD1-12 (G4) Three Note Oddity
CD1-13 (V13) New Star Broadcasting
CD1-14 (V5A) Counting Station (Spanish)
CD1-15 (E17) English Lady / 00000 Ending
CD1-16 (V2) Attencion / 3 Finals
CD1-17 (G8) 4 Note Rising Scale
CD1-18 (V1) Ciocîrlia
CD1-19 (S10) Czech Lady
CD1-20 (G16) 2 Letter ‘YS’
CD1-21 (G16) 2 Letter ‘EL’
CD1-22 (G13) 5 Dashes
CD1-23 (E16) 2 Letter ‘RK’

Disc Two:
CD2-01 (V12) NNN
CD2-02 (G11) ‘Strich’
CD2-03 (G14) DFD21 / DFC37
CD2-04 (S2) Drums & Trumpets
CD2-05 (E12) NNN
CD2-06 (E17) English Lady - 00000 Ending
CD2-07 (G12) NNN
CD2-08 (S6) The Russian Man (‘D-va’ Northern Russian Voice)
CD2-09 (E10A) Phonetic Alphabet - NATO
CD2-10 (V6) Spanish Lady
CD2-11 (E11) ‘Strich’
CD2-12 (G16) 2 Letter ‘NU’
CD2-13 (G11) ‘Strich’
CD2-14 (S8) YT
CD2-15 (E13) 5 Dashes
CD2-16 (G19) German Man
CD2-17 (E6) English Man
CD2-18 (S7/G7) English Man + German Lady
CD2-19 (G6) German Lady
CD2-20 (V) Chinese Numbers
CD2-21 (V6) Spanish Lady
CD2-22 (E16) 2 Letter ‘MD’
CD2-23 (E6) English Man
CD2-24 (G6) German Lady
CD2-25 (E10A) Phonetic Alphabet - NATO
CD2-26 (E10) Phonetic Alphabet - NATO
CD2-27 (E15) Nancy Adam Susan
CD2-28 (E14) Counting ‘Control’
CD2-29 (E15) Nancy Adam Susan (Male Voice)
CD2-30 (E4) Cherry Ripe
CD2-31 (S21) Russian Lady
CD2-32 (S6) Russian Man
CD2-33 (E12) NNN
CD2-34 (E15) Frank Young Peter
CD2-35 (S12) Cherta
CD2-36 (S14) Russian Counting Man
CD2-37 (S16) OLX
CD2-38 (X6) 6 Tones
CD2-39 (XPH) High Pitch Polytone
CD2-40 (XPH) High Pitch Polytone
CD2-41 (XPH) High Pitch Polytone
CD2-42 (XPH) High Pitch Polytone
CD2-43 (V9) Oriental Language

Disc Three:
D3-01 (E1) Ready Ready
CD3-02 (E3) Iran / Iraq Jamming Efficacy Testing
CD3-03 (E5) English Lady
CD3-04 (E5) English Lady
CD3-05 (E6) English Man Version 1
CD3-06 (E6) English Man Version 3
CD3-07 (E6) English Man
CD3-08 (E9) Magnetic Fields
CD3-09 (E9) Magnetic Fields
CD3-10 (E11) Oblique
CD3-11 (E12) NNN
CD3-12 (E13) 5 Dashes
CD3-13 (E16) 2 Letter ‘KG’
CD3-14 (E21A) 4 Figure Counting (10 Rough Tones)
CD3-15 (E17A) 2 Voices In One Transmission
CD3-16 (G1) Tyrolean Music Station
CD3-17 (G4) 3 Note I.S.
CD3-18 (G5) 10 Rough Tones
CD3-19 (G7) Achtung!
CD3-20 (G8) ‘A’
CD3-21 (G8) Voice Sample (1-10)
CD3-22 (G8B) Rapid Dots
CD3-23 (G11) Strich
CD3-24 (G14) Hier Ist DFC Sieben Und Dreizig
CD3-25 (G15) 2 Letter ‘PN’
CD3-26 (G16) Sample Count
CD3-27 (G16) 2 Letter ‘VO’
CD3-28 (G16) 2 Letter ‘HK’
CD3-29 (G16) 2 Letter ‘DM’
CD3-30 (G18) 8 Note Rising Scale
CD3-31 (G20) Spruchnummer 1
CD3-32 (G20) Spruchnummer 4
CD3-33 (G21) Random Pop
CD3-34 (G22) Nomer 101
CD3-35 (S3) Okno Okno Okno
CD3-36 (S4) Nomer 198
CD3-37 (S5) 723 Papaqui
CD3-38 (S6) 298
CD3-39 (S6) 815
CD3-40 (S6E) 167
CD3-41 (S7C) Moscow Coup Attempt

Disc Four:
CD4-01 (S7) Russian Man Complete
CD4-02 (S8) YT
CD4-03 (S10A) 555 Konec
CD4-04 (S11) Preska
CD4-05 (S12) Cherta
CD4-06 (S13) Count In Russian
CD4-07 (S13) Count In Russian
CD4-08 (S14) 1-10 Announcement
CD4-09 (S14) 1-10 Announcement
CD4-10 (S) Counting in Polish
CD4-11 (S17A) Konec Konec
CD4-12 (S19) Pozor
CD4-13 (S21) Russian Lady Test Count And Message
CD4-14 (S25) Russian Man
CD4-15 (V2A) Spanish Lady (2 Finals)
CD4-16 (V5) Spanish Counting
CD4-17 (V5A) Spanish Counting
CD4-18 (V7) Spanish Man
CD4-19 (V6) Spanish Lady
CD4-20 (V6) Spanish Lady
CD4-21 (V8) Eastern Music Station
CD4-22 (V8) Eastern Music Station
CD4-23 (V) Unidentified Chinese Station
CD4-24 (V12) NNN
CD4-25 (V18) NNN
CD4-26 (V19) Whiskey Tango Veinte Y Uno
CD4-27 (XC) The Crackle
CD4-28 (XM) The Backwards Music Station
CD4-29 (XF) Faders
CD4-30 (XW) Workshop
CD4-31 (XX) The Pip
CD4-32 (XB) The Buzzer
CD4-33 (M1) M1 (197)
CD4-34 (M1B) M1B (463)
CD4-35 (M2) M2 (712)
CD4-36 (M3) M3
CD4-37 (M3) M3
CD4-38 (M3) M3
CD4-39 (M3) M3
CD4-40 (M3) M3
CD4-41 (M3) M3
CD4-42 (M3A) M3A
CD4-42 (M3B) M3B

DOWNLOAD some numbers HERE!


bill said...

WOW. There isn't ever anything on here that isn't compelling... but once in a while there's a total jaw-dropper. This is amazing!

With grateful thanks.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Ain't this just the weirdest thing you've ever heard?

bill said...

It's reminding me of the mysterious radio in Cocteau's 'Orphée'. I love it.

Unknown said...

I have the Swedish Rhapsody as a ringtone. Caught my complete interest after it was creatively used in the movie "The Banshee Chapter". Very interesting!

Jonny Zchivago said...

A fine choice of ringtone indeed.I also enjoy the British secret service call sign, 'The Lincolnshire Poacher',very classy,and sinister.
Check out The Scouts of Uzbekistan LP, they sample a bit of this for one of their tunes.

the saucer people said...

I was totally obsessed with the Numbers Stations for a long while, so I do applaud this post.

Anyone heard the 2013 reissue which featured an extra CD of unreleased material? It's on my to buy list but with copies going for 45 quid, it may be a while before I get it (my original Irdial disc disappeared sometime in the late nineties, which I made into some spooky occurance but it probably got nicked by one of my low-life lifelong friends and sold at the local record shop).

There is an incredible website that has a literally a clandestine shed-load of material about the number stations:

Jonny Zchivago said...

Thanks for the link,velly intellesting!
Saw the advert for this in Wire magazine in 1997,had to buy it.Good choice cus I sold my original copy in the early 2000's for well over a hundred quid to some canadian geezer.Result!
Used to go to sleep listening to this.It has a soothing hypnotic quality,alongside the sinister aspect.

Andy Tithesis said...

This explains a lot Jonnathin. ☻