Music for radio geeks, with code practice

Continuing my CW practice…

I almost forgot about this album: Kraftwerk‘s “Radio-Activity” (1975).

I’ve been a fan of these German electronic music pioneers since I was a little computer nerd back in my early college years. Released the year I was born, “Radio-Activity” doesn’t contain a lot of their well-known songs… as well-known as a Kraftwerk song can be I guess (Some of their hits have been “Autobahn,” “Metal on Metal,” “Computer Love,” “The Robots,” etc.)

But as a radio amateur, Radio-Activity offers a few tunes that a ham can relate to. The title track, though inspired by Marie Curie, contains Morse code. The WPM is fairly slow too, so even I can manage a letter or two here and there.

But there are also tracks such as “Antenna,” a pulsing, metallic tune that does evoke the feeling of radio waves firing off a tower. “Airwaves” is slower and contemplative with mooing synth lines and a tinny beat. “Radioland” sounds like a highly QRM-ed portion of the 40 meter band, complete with de-tuned SSB-inspired vocals and whistling carriers.

My favorite song title is probably “Ohm Sweet Ohm,” another slow jam with pre-Autotune vocoder robot voices and bittersweet synths that eventually builds to a quick tempo and upbeat conclusion.

The album is available on Spotify:



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