The Conet Project

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The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations is a four (later five) CD set of recordings of numbers stations and noise stations: mysterious shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin believed to be operated by government agencies to communicate with deployed spies. The collection is released by England's Irdial-Discs record label in 1997, based on the work of numbers station enthusiast Akin Fernandez.[1]

Original four-disc edition[edit]

The Conet Project has since become somewhat of a cult sensation and counts many musicians and filmmakers among its fans, including Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, Melvins collaborator David Scott Stone, Boards of Canada, Synthetrix, Manu Chao, The Besnard Lakes, Devendra Banhart, former Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, and director Cameron Crowe. Samples from the collection have been used in numerous films and albums, including Crowe's film Vanilla Sky, Porcupine Tree's Stupid Dream album, We Were Promised Jetpacks' These Four Walls album, and Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, the last of which was an issue of legal dispute; Jeff Tweedy did not seek permission to use the Conet sample and Irdial sued for copyright infringement. The incident sparked debate about who exactly owns copyright concerning recordings of numbers station transmissions, but Tweedy ultimately decided to avoid taking the matter to court, agreeing to pay Irdial royalties and reimburse its legal fees.[2] The Besnard Lakes have also used recordings from numbers stations throughout their album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse and frontman Jace Lasek is said to be a fan of The Conet Project. Kronos Quartet incorporated live reception of the Conet numbers into "4Cast Unpredictable", a performed sound sculpture in collaboration with Trimpin. Ten years in the making, the piece was performed once only, at Montclair State University Performing Arts Center, New Jersey, in 2007.

In keeping with its "free music philosophy",[3] the Irdial-Discs label has made the entire collection available for download in MP3 form (along with a PDF version of the included booklet) on its website completely free of charge and encourages fans to freely distribute it on file sharing networks.

The project's name comes from a mishearing of the Czech word konec, or "end", which marks the end of transmissions on the Czech numbers station.

Fifth disc[edit]

The Conet Project was rereleased in a five-disc edition in April 2013 with a new booklet, featuring detailed photographs of a numbers station voice sample controller, a Sprach-Morse-Generator der HVA des MfS (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit der DDR) and one-time pad samples of the type used by the East German STASI. These are the first pieces of numbers station equipment to find their way into public hands.[citation needed] The entire fifth disc contains recordings of "noise stations", which are not the result of naturally occurring radio phenomena.

Recordings[edit]

"Phonetic Alphabet - NATO" from The Conet Project, disc 1

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Disc one[edit]

  1. The Swedish Rhapsody (4:18)
  2. Counting (3:34)
  3. Counting 'Control' (2:01)
  4. Phonetic Alphabet - NATO (4:36)
  5. 5 Dashes (3:30)
  6. The Lincolnshire Poacher (4:37)
  7. Gong Station/Chimes (3:29)
  8. DFD 21 (2:37)
  9. Ready Ready 15728 (2:04)
  10. Bugle (1:00)
  11. 5 Note Version 'Czech Lady' (1:38)
  12. Three Note Oddity (2:18)
  13. New Star Broadcasting (6:32)
  14. Counting Station (Spanish) (4:41)
  15. English Lady / 00000 ending (3:31)
  16. Attencion / 3 Finals (3:31)
  17. 4 Note Rising Scale (3:14)
  18. Ciocîrlia (5:16)
  19. Czech Lady (3:18)
  20. 2 Letter 'YS' (1:47)
  21. 2 Letter 'EL' (1:10)
  22. 5 Dashes (1:40)
  23. 2 Letter 'RK' (2:23)

Disc two[edit]

  1. NNN (2:56)
  2. 'Strich' (0:36)
  3. DFD21 / DFC37 (1:55)
  4. Drums & Trumpets (2:51)
  5. NNN (1:47)
  6. English Lady - 00000 ending (2:10)
  7. NNN (1:00)
  8. The Russian Man ('D-va' Northern Russian Voice) (1:34)
  9. Phonetic Alphabet - NATO (0:49)
  10. Spanish Lady (1:07)
  11. 'Strich' (0:30)
  12. 2 Letter 'NU' (1:12)
  13. 'Strich' (0:38)
  14. YT (3:35)
  15. 5 Dashes (1:40)
  16. German Man (1:45)
  17. English Man (4:58)
  18. English Man + German Lady (1:36)
  19. German Lady (1:43)
  20. Chinese Numbers (1:14)
  21. Spanish Lady (4:25)
  22. 2 Letter 'MD' (1:38)
  23. English Man (1:13)
  24. German Lady (0:47)
  25. Phonetic Alphabet - NATO (0:54)
  26. Phonetic Alphabet - NATO (2:24)
  27. Nancy Adam Susan (3:20)
  28. Counting 'Control' (1:18)
  29. Nancy Adam Susan (Male Voice) (2:44)
  30. Cherry Ripe (1:34)
  31. Russian Lady (1:57)
  32. Russian Man (0:37)
  33. NNN (1:54)
  34. Frank Young Peter (0:59)
  35. Cherta (1:05)
  36. Russian Counting Man (0:58)
  37. OLX (2:15)
  38. 6 Tones (0:57)
  39. High Pitch Polytone (2:02)
  40. High Pitch Polytone (0:31)
  41. High Pitch Polytone (1:17)
  42. High Pitch Polytone (1:00)
  43. Oriental Language (1:11)

Disc three[edit]

  1. Ready Ready (2:02)
  2. Iran / Iraq Jamming Efficacy Testing (1:00)
  3. English Lady (1:16)
  4. English Lady (0:34)
  5. English Man Version 1 (0:34)
  6. English Man Version 3 (0:48)
  7. English Man (0:58)
  8. Magnetic Fields (3:49)
  9. Magnetic Fields (1:30)
  10. Oblique (1:24)
  11. NNN (0:35)
  12. 5 Dashes (4:17)
  13. 2 Letter 'KG' (1:49)
  14. 4 Figure Counting (10 Rough Tones) (2:36)
  15. 2 Voices in one transmission (3:29)
  16. Tyrolean Music Station (7:18)
  17. 3 Note I.S. (0:46)
  18. 10 Rough Tones (1:33)
  19. Achtung! (0:29)
  20. 'A' (1:23)
  21. Voice Sample (1-10) (0:12)
  22. Rapid Dots (0:59)
  23. 'Strich' (1:06)
  24. Hier ist DFC Seben und Dreizig (3:20)
  25. 2 Letter 'PN' (2:34)
  26. Sample Count (0:18)
  27. 2 Letter 'VO' (2:10)
  28. 2 Letter 'HK' (0:41)
  29. 2 Letter 'DM' (4:01)
  30. 8 Note Rising Scale (1:11)
  31. Spruchnummer 1 (0:55)
  32. Spruchnummer 4 (0:48)
  33. Random Pop (1:05)
  34. Nomer 101 (2:52)
  35. Okno Okno Okno (0:35)
  36. Nomer 198 (3:22)
  37. 723 Papaqui (1:23)
  38. 298 (1:54)
  39. 815 (1:24)
  40. 167 (1:53)
  41. Moscow Coup Attempt (0:20)

Disc four[edit]

  1. Russian Man Complete (3:37)
  2. YT (2:50)
  3. 555 Konec (0:33)
  4. Preska (0:25)
  5. Cherta (0:26)
  6. Count in Russian (0:40)
  7. Count in Russian (2:03)
  8. 1-10 Announcement (1:03)
  9. 1-10 Announcement (0:50)
  10. Counting in Polish (1:12)
  11. Konec Konec (2:43)
  12. Pozor (0:48)
  13. Russian Lady test count and message (2:15)
  14. Russian Man (4:10)
  15. Spanish Lady (2 Finals) (1:48)
  16. Spanish Counting (0:22)
  17. Spanish Counting (0:24)
  18. Spanish Man (2:19)
  19. Spanish Lady (1:17)
  20. Spanish Lady (2:27)
  21. Eastern Music Station (6:40)
  22. Eastern Music Station (1:42)
  23. Unidentified Chinese Station (0:42)
  24. NNN (1:27)
  25. NNN (0:59)
  26. Whiskey Tango Viente Y Uno (6:14)
  27. The Crackle (2:33)
  28. The Backwards Music Station (2:30)
  29. Faders (1:14)
  30. Workshop (2:52)
  31. The Pip (0:50)
  32. The Buzzer (2:40)
  33. M1 (197) (0:52)
  34. M1b (463) (4:49)
  35. M2 (712) (3:11)
  36. M3 (0:33)
  37. M3 (0:20)
  38. M3 (0:27)
  39. M3 (0:17)
  40. M3 (0:15)
  41. M3 (0:15)
  42. M3a (0:22)
  43. M3b (0:50)

Disc five[edit]

  1. Data Bursts 5.201kHz (USB and AM)
  2. Exotic Cipher 6.215kHz AM October 5, 2008 1927 GMT
  3. Descending Jammer 7969kHz USB
  4. Drone 17964kHz
  5. Odd Clacking 4.039kHz (USB and AM) April 29, 1998
  6. Bizarre Data Noise
  7. Chiming
  8. Chopper
  9. Coarse Rushing Air
  10. Odd Clacking 4.039kHz (USB and AM) April 29, 1998
  11. 348-10-13-36-19-21 11.573kHz 1917GMT
  12. Creeping
  13. Rapid Descending Tri-tone
  14. Engine Room Drone
  15. Pinking
  16. Rushing Air Sound 11492kHz
  17. 'Snundering'
  18. Down Up Tone
  19. Choking
  20. Galactic
  21. Sweeping Noise 9330kHz USB
  22. Strange Echoing Pips 11216kHz USB
  23. Bubble Jammer
  24. Deep Nuclear Drone
  25. Drone B
  26. Insane 7.074kHz AM December 8, 1820 GMT

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Segal, David (08-03-04). "The Shortwave And the Calling". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  2. ^ Shachtman, Noah (06-23-04). "Wilco Pays Up for Spycasts". Wired. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Free Music Philosophy as adopted by Irdial~Discs". Retrieved 20 November 2008. 

External links[edit]