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Shortwave Spectrum

by SONOLOGYST

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Caesar
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Caesar In the dense vortex of dark ambient, deep drone music and cinematic sound art, Shortwave Spectrum offers a soundtrack that goes beyond a mere collection of tracks; rather, it is a musical chronicle of the Cold War and clandestine communications.
www.versacrum.com/vs/2023/12/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum.html
Dave Aftandilian
Dave Aftandilian thumbnail
Dave Aftandilian Shadowy, ominous, and subtly disturbing, these ambient compositions reveal the dark heart of their spying sources while also turning their prying and propagandist impulses into deeply satisfying sound art. Listening I feel simultaneously soiled with a dark film of grime and uplifted, like walking up to the former Cold War era listening post at Teufelsberg in Berlin and thinking about what it was used for before while also enjoying the street art curated there today.
Marco Zonta
Marco Zonta thumbnail
Marco Zonta Magnificient and magnetic piece of work. I adore radio transmissions in a dark and disturbed drone wall, like the sound is wrapped in dense fog. Sonologyst did it again and again surpassed my expectations. There are some elements I've always wanted to have together in a single piece of sound and Sonologyst managed to merge all of them! Awesome album.
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NNN German 07:45
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Enigma G03 04:31
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Encoded 14:05
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Spektrvm 13:47
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Shortwaves 41:51

about

The new Sonologyst "sonic documentary" delves into the secretive realm of shortwave transmissions; a chronicle of clandestine shortwave transmissions culled from a span of nearly four decades (1982-2021). These mysterious transmissions - repetitive voices, signals, sound pulses, short pieces of music - were collated and edited to compose the tracks of the main album.

Immersed in an isolating fog of dark ambient, deep drone music and cinematic sound art, it provides an auditory exploration of the ongoing Cold War. Originating from covert radio stations engaged in military and espionage endeavours, the tracks unveil a hidden sonic landscape of strategic communication.

The second disc, in its extensive presentation, provides a deeper immersion into these enigmatic broadcasts. Each recording remains unaltered, accompanied only by a ghostly drone. It offers an unfiltered glimpse into the world of clandestine communication, where words are transmitted beneath the radar and in the shadowy confines of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Double CD in a matt-finish gatefold ecopak with graphic design by Abby Helasdottir.

Watch album teaser (YouTube) by Abby Helasdottir: bit.ly/SonologystShortwaveSpectrum

NUMBER STATIONS:

The so-called Number Stations are short-wave radio transmissions, broadcast at various hours of the day, and with variable durations, available on many frequencies and observed and studied for decades by radio amateurs from all over the world. These mysterious transmissions, consisting of voices reading groups of numbers or letters in the international phonetic alphabet, or of Morse code signals or sound pulses, are often preceded by transmission start "alerts" consisting of short pieces of music, sequences of letters or scales of notes, cyclically repeated at set times.

Several studies, conducted by telecommunications experts, have concluded that these transmissions were, and still are, used by numerous secret services to transmit short text messages to their undercover agents, operating in other countries. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, these transmissions suffered a significant decrease, but in recent years other broadcasts have followed the raising of respective new global geopolitical players, and Chinese, Korean and Indian Numbers Stations have been picked up.

Shortwave is cheap, reliable, and, unlike web communications, cannot be intercepted or blocked except in the event of a nuclear explosion. The ideal secret communication system in times of new cold war.

credits

released November 23, 2023

REVIEWS

Dungeon Synth & Dark Ambient Reviews
Top 10 Dark Ambient Albums Of 2023
thedungeonindeepspace.com/2023/12/30/top-10-favorite-dark-ambient-albums-of-2023/

Sonologyst excels at releasing masterful Dark Ambient albums that build upon isolationism through elongated drones and minimalist haunts. On the projects latest effort, ‘Shortwave Spectrum’, the intonations go above and beyond than ever before. Featuring over ninety minutes of ghastly sequences that are reminiscent of sounds that may be heard at an abandoned communication station, these tracks provide the full experience of abandonment and psychotic terror. Although not as ominous as other releases in my collection of Top 10 releases, there is an everlasting presence of dread that has an equivalent effect. If nominal Dark Ambience is your thing, then the works of Sonologyst will be right up your alley and ‘Shortwave Spectrum’ would be the perfect starting point for diving into this eerie style.

Nine Circles
ninecircles.co/2023/12/03/rainbows-in-the-dark-sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum

Vital Weekly (excerpt review)

Raffaele Pezzella's musical project Sonologyst doesn't need much introduction. I reviewed several of his works and liked it a lot. You can find an indication of the source material in the title, shortwave sounds, and, in particular, from what is called number stations. This takes us back to the days of the Cold War when secret services worldwide used radio transmissions to communicate with agents in the field—voices reading groups of numbers, Morse codes or otherwise random bleeps and hard to intercept and block. The Cold War may have ended, but the information notes that in recent years, Chinese, Korean and Indian Numbers Stations have been picked up, and I assume these are at the core of the music here and not the 4CD set released by Irdial in the 1990s. It would make a damn good book to describe the use of radio (waves) as a musical instrument and the history thereof, as I believe that, next to the mouth, the radio is one of easiest accessible instruments available for any would-be musicians (if you already wrote such a book, then let me know). That is not to say that it's easy to play great music based on radio waves, but Sonologyst is a true master in crafting deep, dark, and highly ambient music with that ghostly atmosphere lingering in the background. As much as Number Stations are mysterious, so is this music. Oddly enough, maybe, there are six tracks on the first CD, somewhere between five and fifteen minutes, and the oddity is that these are more minimal than the forty-two-minute piece on the second CD. Each of these six stays in stasis and move within the given parameters. The long one, 'Shortwaves', is a piece that moves between many stations, picking up spoken word, classical music, pop music and whatever else along the way, against a backdrop of drones. It shows that one can do many things with radio waves, which is why I'm still fascinated by it. (FdW)

Avant Music News
avantmusicnews.com/2023/11/18/amn-reviews-sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum-2023-cold-spring-records

Luminous Dash
luminousdash.be/reviews/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum-cold-spring/

This Is Darkness
Well, this is very cool – an album of dark ambient / deep drone, inspired by and using edited shortwave radio broadcasts from the mysterious ‘number stations’ that during the cold war (and beyond) transmitted coded messages for agents deep undercover in enemy nations. The resulting album is a collection of haunting and otherworldly tracks unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time. As a bonus, Sonologyst has included a 7th track that is less filtered – it contrasts beautifully with the six expertly crafted tracks that came before it, and provides an even deeper experience of these ghostly broadcasts. Highly recommended!

Ver Sacrum
www.versacrum.com/vs/2023/12/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum.html

Lux Athena
luxatenea.com/2023/12/17/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum-cold-spring-records-noviembre-2023-resena-review

Dark Room Magazine
www.darkroom-magazine.it/ita/108/Recensione.php?r=5066

Musique Machine
www.musiquemachine.com/reviews/reviews_template.php?id=10247&fbclid=IwAR23eV81agMQeIKEcZ7k2GeV4t4sEA9MLMf7pHeooFoy_MpXpwuhSEbG6-E

NoMelody Magazine
nomelodymagazine.org/2024/03/25/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum/



Published by Cold Spring Records
Sound, sampling, processing and mastering by Sonologyst.
Equipment: analogue synthesizers, shortwaves radio receiver, analogue tape recorders.
Mastered by Sonologyst.
Graphic design by Abby Helasdottir.

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SONOLOGYST Italy

SONOLOGYST is the solo project of Raffaele Pezzella. With a primary focus on the interplay between music and contemporary mythologies, Sonologyst's music traverses a spectrum between Fortean documentary-style soundscapes and the sculpting of post-industrial auditory experiences. ... more

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