Thursday, March 3, 2011

Signal and noise

One of the weirder signals that has been picked up on shortwave radio is "The Workshop":
The signal sounds like a transmitter has been powered up with the microphone left open, in a mechanical workshop.
Banging, crashing, footsteps, distant voices and ringing telephones can be heard in the distance.
Here is a recording (it's very loud and discordant, especially at the beginning, so I recommend turning the volume down before listening):
  Tcp d4 30 workshop irdial by The Conet Project
The (synthesized?) voice chanting "Foxtrot. Tango. India" suggests that the Workshop signal was being used to jam a numbers station, but if so the jamming was not successful. Whatever might have been going on, the resulting signal is a fine piece of accidental art. Its combination of ghostly voices with static and mechanical clanging reminds me of early wax cylinder recordings.

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