Number Stations are a fascinating leftover from the Cold War. Most countries had a secret radio transmitter that broadcast series of numbers, often using a computerised voice, to spies in the field.
No one has ever successfully decoded a transmission, and no government has admitted to using this technology. I was particularly struck by one station, thought to be from East Germany that still broadcasts daily. It appears to be fully automated, as it plays the same recording over and over again, and the tape has been gradually degrading and stretching over the last 30 years.
I was fascinated by the image of this now forgotten machine, in a cupboard in some government building in the now unified Germany, quietly doing its duty for a country that no longer exists.
The idea of the sound gradually stretching was the basis for one of the other sections. Using software I stretched out pre-existing music without dropping the pitch. This stretched out music becomes unrecognizable and turns into weirdly beautiful ambient sound. I took some of the worst pop tunes I could find, and stretched them out to about an hour long.
I’m really looking forward to seeing where FFIN DANCE and Gary take Axiom Tangent