TIP OF THE WEEK 10/24: Sonologyst - Shortwave Spectrum 2CD (Cold Spring)

TIP OF THE WEEK 10/24: Sonologyst - Shortwave Spectrum 2CD (Cold Spring)

I have to say that I'm not too familiar with Sonologyst's material before this new double CD on Cold Spring. What caught my attention was the description of this being a "sonic documentary" of shortwave transmissions from four decades, along with the intriguing cover art of the CD. I'm a big fan of radio noise and shortwave signal sounds. They have that otherworldly atmosphere that is partly haunting and mysterious, reminiscent of the Cold War espionage, moon flights, underwater submarine transmissions, and late-night radio amateur romanticism, among other things. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to fool around with AM radio to find new interesting sounds, worlds, and radio broadcasts from other countries, like Luxembourg Radio for example.

What is especially interesting is that this comes as a 2CD set where the second CD consists only of unaltered shortwave sources that I understand have been used to compose the first CD. It's not completely unaltered, as there is a ghostly drone added to the mix for unified atmospheric purposes, I think. But still very interesting. 

^label picture

 List of shortwaves sources on CD 2
1 - NNN German 00'14''. East German shortwave transmission.
2 - Enigma G03 01'19. Transmission inactive since 1990; origin East German Army / Secret Police.
3 - Ionospheric Research Radar 2'08''. Transmission for ionosphere research.
4 - The Chinese Robot 2'50''. Chinese Defense Network, active.
5 - The Squeaky Wheel 3'51''. Russian communication from a station located in Rostov On Don.
6 - Three Day Mystery 4'23''. Suspected origin: British Royal Navy; reported in July 2004, now inactive.
7 - UVB-76 5'08''. Origin Russia, first reported 1982.
8 - The Gong station 5'59''. A numbers station operated by East German secret services.
9 - The PIP 6'29''. Daily signal active since around 1985.
10 - ENIGMA 2000 6'51''. Signal reported in May 2004. Active till June 2004.
11 - Unknown transmissions 7'22''. 1970 Cold War shortwave radio transmissions.
12 - North Korean transmissions 13'03''. Clandestine radio transmission from North Korea.
13 - ECHO OF HOPE-VOH 14'51''. Transmission from a radio located in South Korea.
13 - The Russian Workshop 15'52''. Reported on 1 December 1997 at 1900 UTC. Possible Russian origin.
14 - Cuban HM01 number station 16'36''. A numbers station believed to be operated by the Cuban Intelligence Directorate.
15 - Chopper 22'56''. No information available.
16 - Russian shortwave station 23'24''. Transmission recorded one hour after Putin declared the invasion of Ukraine.
17 - Military, US Airforce HF-GCS 30'03''. Skyking transmission, 4724 kHz (2019).
18 - E11 Oblique 31'09''. Shortwaves Station Transmission (2021 UK).
19 - Australian Military shortwave transmission 35'50''. Military using HF shortwave radio to communicate with RAAF aircraft (2014).
20 - Yosemite Sam signal 38'26''. Signal transmitted probably by the "MATIC" (Mobility Assessment Test & Integration Center) station between December 19, 2004 and February 16, 2005.
21 - Unknown Spanish transmission on shortwaves 39'32''. no information available.

I thoroughly enjoyed the music on CD1. The sound is very pleasant, mostly analog-like, and perfect for deep listening. Despite being categorized as dark ambient, I find it still kind of musical, but in a tasteful manner (noisehead talking here). The emphasis leans more towards ambient music rather than focusing heavily on shortwave sounds, but we do get more of those sounds on the second disc. All in all, if you love dark ambient and derive pleasure from radio transmission sounds, this is definitely for you.


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