Friday, December 17, 2021

Music From Numbers Stations


Back in the Cold War days, there was a profusion of mysterious radio stations working the spy trade.  They featured anonymous voices, reciting strings of numbers (thus, their name), the purpose of which remains a mystery to this day.  

Occasionally (because, I guess, they were radio stations), they'd also play music, usually something also anonymous, and repetitious.  (When I was a kid, learning the magic of radio, my dad's short wave had a station playing the opening bars of the Star Spangled Banner, over and over.  Now that I think of it, that might have been a numbers station.)  (Or else, the record was just stuck.) 

The phenomenal Internet Archive has a selection of these stations.  I went into that scary shortwave world and collected a brief pastiche of weird music (intentional or not.)