I’m bending the rules of TOTW for this post but the idea was to bring to your attention the things I have been listening to. Although you can’t call this a piece of music I have been fascinated by numbers stations since I heard about them a few months ago. The most famous of which is probably the Lincolnshire Poacher.
For those who don’t know, numbers stations are shortwave radio transmissions which can be picked up by anyone with a shortwave radio. They all usually start with a basic looping tune before going into a code. This can be morse code, a fluctuating signal or as in the Lincolnshire Poacher’s case is a collection of numbers.
Although no one has admitted to these broadcasts the fact that they would require large transmitters with a lot of power, have been running reportedly since the end of the second world war and are illegally using the bandwidth points towards a National origin. People believe these are codes from different nationalities secret services, to secret agents in other countries.
Whether you believe the speculation or not there is something about these broadcasts that manage to disturb and intrigue. Influencing artists Like Bords of Canada and Wilco who have used samples of numbers stations recordings in their own music.
For many years people have been cataloguing and recording the broadcasts and are available as The Conet Project either as CD’s or as free MP3 downloads. If you listen to and find the Lincolnshire Poacher as interesting as I do there is plenty more to listen to and read about online: