If you’ve ever fooled around with a shortwave radio–and this is admittedly something of a lost pastime–you’ll know that you can hear weird interference noises that are almost musical. You may have also stumbled on something called “numbers stations.”
It’s just a voice–sometimes real, sometimes computer-generated, sometimes female, sometimes even a child–reading a seemingly meaningless string of numbers. We think these are spies communicating with each other in code. So what does this have to do with music?
In 1997, a dude named Akin Fernandez released an album called The Conet Project that featured nothing but these weird numbers stations broadcasts. Since then, all kinds of bands have sampled from this record. And if you ever want to clear out a party at the end of the night, put this one.