Saturday, February 11, 2012

Radio Prague / Radio Praha

I've been listening to my CDs in alphabetical order over the past few months while making my 50 mile round trip commute to work every day. I'm now in the letter O which includes Scottish post-punk band Orange Juice, California indie-pop band The Orange Peels and UK electronica from Orbital.
Next came Dazzle Ships by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, an experimental synthpop and sound collage album from 1983. The first track is called "Radio Prague" and simply consists of the opening bars of the Communist anthem Forward Left which was used as the interval signal from (what was then) Czechoslovakia's international broadcast station. An interval signal is just a short musical call sign indicating that a station's broadcast is about to begin.
Here's the track set to some eastern bloc imagery sure to cause cold war flashbacks.

Radio Prague began broadcasting in 1936 and has programming on satellite and internet in six different languages. They ceased most shortwave broadcasts in 2011 although they can still be heard in North America via Radio Miami International in English and Spanish.

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