Peter C. Bruno - Be Linear

by Strategic Tape Reserve Staff

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Grey C-57 cleverly disguised as a typical minimal-wave synth-pop cassette with paint splattered shell label. Tape version is slightly different to the digital for reasons of security.

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    Get all 43 Strategic Tape Reserve releases available on Bandcamp and save 70%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of C.M.S.O. (Learning by Listening Vol. 1), Nun Darme Stu Turmiento, love in the time of lowercase, Lax Myths / Essentially Negative, Elmyr, Ulterior Frequencies, Theme∞Variations, Lozenge, and 35 more. , and , .

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False Floor 02:59
Figures 05:07
Buildings 04:15
Actions 03:54
Professions 04:06
Unclassified 05:28
Vehicles 04:17
Fauna 05:27
Materials 04:38


‘Peter C. Bruno - Be Linear’ by Strategic Tape Reserve Staff is an audio codebook disguised as a synth pop tape. The first track on Side A, ‘False Floor’, is a decoy - an innocuous piece of industrial-tinged minimal wave designed to satisfy the customs inspector or security services officer whose meticulous skepticism drives them to examine the audio content of this seemingly neutral cassette. For this reason, we we strongly recommend the tape always be kept rewound to the beginning of Side A when not in operation. ‘False Floor’ is engineered to convincingly portray what most people would regard as actual music, and additionally to subtly dissuade the casual fan of songs from prolonged listening. The rest of the tape comprises the codebook.
The cypher is split into 11 themed sections which function as a cryptological lookup table. 103 carefully selected words and phrases are paired with purpose-built synthetic sounds. In practice, one party reproduces these sounds (using a music synthesiser, acoustic instruments, manipulated field recordings, or vocalised interpretations) in a sequence to communicate information to another party, who decodes their meaning by comparing the transmitted sounds to those on the tape.
In time, it’s likely that experienced intelligence operatives and skilled electronic musicians will obtain a high level of proficiency in using the cypher, in which case the tape could be reserved as a reference to be used only with tricky, especially expressive renditions of the code.
To prevent the tape from simply being fed into a high-powered computer for decryption, an evolving drone sits behind each section. This functions similarly to the ‘CAPCHA’ test found on some internet sites, exploiting certain competency gaps between artificial and human intelligences (in this case, segmentation and parsing), erecting a secondary level of encryption against machine learning.
Finally, we anticipate the concerns from those who perhaps detect paradoxical behaviour in a tape reserve PUBLISHING a SECRET code. While probably well intended, we feel that such concerns are not warranted. According to our internal research, the number of people who are aware of Strategic Tape Reserve stands between 35 and 60 individuals (roughly 0.00000067% of the global population). Other successful substitution cyphers, such as the WWII code based on Navajo language, were significantly more well known during their time of use. It’s also worth noting that there are slight differences in the content of the digital version and the tape version of this release. Therefore, the tape version of the code, whose dissemination we hold greater control over, should be considered the more secure form of encryption. If we suspect that a tape has been ordered by a party whose ethical and ideological views do not align with our own, e.g. the counterintelligence bureau of an authoritarian police state, a false-cypher tape containing incorrect sounds will be sent, setting back and likely demoralising their codebreaking efforts.


released July 23, 2020




Strategic Tape Reserve Cologne, Germany

The Strategic Tape Reserve, headquartered in Cologne, West Germany, is a fully independent (non-aligned, secular) organization dedicated to the dissemination and responsible management of ferric cassette material and content.

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