THE CONET PROJECT: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations

 
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The legendary LP set now available as a limited edition 4 CD set, with a highly informative 72pp booklet. This is one of those really extraordinary releases that defy all account. The short-wave radio environment is filled with unidentified stations broadcasting spoken numbers, tones and sometimes modulated noise. No one owns up to them, it is illegal in the UK even to listen to them. They are scary, mysterious, blatant, mindless. They are in fact the dark work of secret government agencies, broadcasting in one-time pad code to clandestine offices and operatives - but blatantly, in plain earshot. And in human, all too human voices that convey, in spite of the emptiness of the message, strange emotions, coloured by the static, blips, leakages and musical extracts that entwine with them. They are the repressed writ large. Publicly broadcast but ostensibly meaningless, they are malignant communications that we are instructed not to know about (the official response to one journalist's enquiry was simply that it was illegal to listen. He stopped asking). All the more extraordinary then that a group of people have monitored, logged and recorded these stations around the globe. The cumulative effect is indescribable - though its complexities and beauties are unintended, like the beauty of poisonous exotic plants growing in the dark. The most hardcore conceptual artist would have to bow to this masterful material. The accompanying notes are informative and excellent, and the records impenetrable. This is subversive work, and it's no kind of art. It's also completely fascinating. There's a very limited quantity, and it's unlikely to be repressed in the near future, so it may be now or never.




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