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(Key Format)
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The key is 36 digits long and numerical in nature. The message titles suggest that the key follows the format:<br/>
 
The key is 36 digits long and numerical in nature. The message titles suggest that the key follows the format:<br/>
 
&#45;----- / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------<br/>
 
&#45;----- / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------<br/>
So far, we know the following 30 digits in the key:<br/>
 
[[Record_Store_Day_incident#Hint_4|699742]] / [[Record_Store_Day_incident#Hint_5|628315]]  / [[Record_Store_Day_incident#Hint_2|717228]] / [[Record_Store_Day_incident#Hint_1|936557]] / ------ / [[Record_Store_Day_incident#Hint_3|519225]]
 
  
 
==Message Format==
 
==Message Format==

Revision as of 23:19, 29 April 2013

April 20th, 2013 marked the 6th annual Record Store Day, a global celebration of independent record stores for which record labels produce special limited edition releases and reissues and distribute them for release on this date. On this date, twitter user @imnopandabear found a mysterious Boards of Canada 12" vinyl in [Music, NYC]. This vinyl provided one of six messages forming part of a 36-digit key. Following this event, more messages have been broadcast over different media. Despite initial skepticism, the AtalantaFugiens YouTube account (known to be official) updated the annotation on its Julie And Candy live video to briefly show the key format at time 4:19, confirming the legitimacy of the record.

Key and Message Format

The term key refers to the entire 36-digit code. The term message refers to a broadcast which provides any number of digits from the key. The term message position refers to the position of the message within the key.

It is unclear at this stage whether the key represents a mathematical challenge, or an encrypted ciphertext, or a key for decoding some as-yet-unknown ciphertext. If it is ciphertext or an encryption key, then information theory and Shannon's noisy coding theorem tells us that it is not useful information until the full message and its related key/cipher is known.

Key Format

The key is 36 digits long and numerical in nature. The message titles suggest that the key follows the format:
------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------

Message Format

The messages are distributed by 45 second audio sequences following a set format:

  • a shortwave-radio-like noise floor with a numbers station sample being played quietly and noisily throughout.
  • a musical callsign announcing that a message is ready to be played
  • a 6 digit numerical message being read in a distorted, computerised manner

Each message is partnered by a textual 'title' of the following format.
------ / ------ / ------ / XXXXXX / ------ / ------
The 6 digit message is taken to fit into the marked six positions in the title.

Message Distribution

Vinyl

  • The vinyl found in Other Music is a 12" record found in a sleeve bearing the following marking:

BOARDS OF CANADA

------ / ------ / ------ / XXXXXX / ------ / ------

(P) 2013 WARP RECORDS LIMITED (C) 2013 WARP RECORDS LIMITED

  • The message on the vinyl is "936557" . According to a store employee, the record was hand-delivered by a Warp Records representative and is one of only 6 in the world. One other identical copy has been found in Rough Trade East, London.
  • gabrielconry from WATMM messageboard shared this bit of additional info. [1]

The Rough Trade BoC single was put out on Saturday (Record Store Day) night by Noreen, the manager, who couldn't tell anyone else about it. It was deliberately misfiled under Techno and placed backwards as well. It then had to be removed at some point, as 'somebody' needed to get a photo of the customer buying it (and BoC it up with a blank face), so it was put back into the racks on Tuesday morning, waiting for someone to chance upon it. As they did.

Just like to share that there are 6 vinyls out there and a few yet to be found! Although all with the same code.

YouTube

->
->
->

On the 22nd April, the AtalantaFugiens YouTube account again updated the annotations for the "Julie And Candy" live video to briefly flash for 0.1 seconds "ONE GOT FAT" at time 4:20 (video 1), in reference to the source video for an Everything You Do Is A Balloon fan video (fig 2). Also at this point the Boards of Canada YouTube account updated its top favourite video to "Everything You Do Is A Balloon" fan video. On that fan video, a comment from a YouTube account hellinterface links to the nuevas semillas private video (video 3) shown above with interesting graphics from little house on the prairie. That private video contains a link to the fourth video (video 4) shown above in which the new message is played (with digits 717228) and the message position is flashed on screen.

Moebius distilled the following timeframe using the YouTube API. The times are in US CDT.

1/27/2008 21:55:48 OGF fanvideo published by nonameno5
8/23/2011 11:21:14 nuevas semillas video published by tarekeys
4/22/2013 9:31:55 csch video published by hellinterface
4/22/2013 15:57:07 hellinterface posts comment linking to neuvas
4/22/2013 18:05:23 csch video updated
4/22/2013 18:06:54 One Got Fat annotation added to Atalanta video
4/22/2013 19:23:04 OGF fanvideo updated
4/22/2013 19:38:47 nuevas semillas video updated

Radio

On the evening (GMT) of 23rd April, Zane Lowe played the sixth message of the key on BBC Radio One. Upon consulting the show's playlist on the BBC website, it lists a track by Artist: Unknown, Title: ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / XXXXXX. The message was 519225.

On the evening (EST) of the same day, NPR played another message on All Songs Considered. This message was 699742. The title is unknown and therefore the message position has not been confirmed, although when future messages are broadcast then this can be deduced.

Messageboard

The fifth clue was distributed on the early morning (GMT+2) of 26 April, on the Twoism messageboard. To officially confirm this, the Boards of Canada YouTube updated it's top favourite videos to three Twoism_(song) fan-videos. [3].

The clue was found on Twoism when DaveJ from Twoism discovered one of the rotating banners of the forum had changed, as shown: [4]

The overlay added to the banner shows an image resembling the csch video above. Royce Ausburn found running the unix "strings" command on the gif file returns the following:

GIF89a
csch,hexagon sun,boc,hell interface,boards of canada,music70,boctransmission,hexagonsun,fyt,twoism
http://snd.sc/11W7vpv
http://snd.sc/11W726Q
there is another...
GIF89ai

The first part of the strings links to two Soundcloud uploads called ∑, Greek uppercase Sigma, which means SUM in maths, with album art showing a signal mixer which sums two inputs. By summing the two Soundcloud files he retrieved the clue: 628315 <flashmp3>628315.mp3</flashmp3>

AAAA.wav BBBB.wav


The second part of the strings is a second embedded gif containing the message position of the clip, as explained by rdy2bz from the Twoism messageboard [5]

I'll explain how to get this image:

  • take your hex-editor
  • notice that all gifs are v89a, so they start with the letters "GIF89a"
  • go to the offset where the soundcloud links are hidden
  • notice the "there is another" hint
  • which is followed by a GIF89a and some more binary stuff
  • copy everything beginning from this GIF89a and paste it into a new file
  • voila, the new file is the shown one.

By analysing the ID tags of the WAVE files from Soundcloud, we find the following interesting information:

Current speculation is that Cosecha, Spanish for "harvest", is the name of the numbers station project rather than the album. This would give meaning to the video titles "csch" and "new seeds".

Projection

The following video projection played at the Loading Bay art gallery which is located across the Rough Trade South shop in London. Allegedly it started playing at approximately 20:35 (GMT) the 26th of April 2013. See the Rough Trade Records tweets below which initiated the hint.

These audio clips have been made by people who witnessed this video projection in real time at the event.


Rough Trade Records tweeted the following:

  • 9:22 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Wonder what this is going on opposite Rough Trade East?..." [6]
  • 9:35 PM - 26 Apr 13 "20:35 | #BoC | ?" [7]
  • 10:15 PM - 26 Apr 13 "So, this just happened, outside Rough Trade East. Vid to follow (technology permitting)." [8]
  • 11:13 PM - 26 Apr 13 "This has been showing on a loop outside Rough Trade East for the past hour. Sketchy video c/o our Ellis. http://bit.ly/12viSHR | #BoC" [9]
  • 11:27 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Ok, someone's currently trying to upload elsewhere. FYI, we had NO idea this was happening. This whole operation's being done by mobiles." [10]
  • 11:34 PM - 26 Apr 13 "The #BoC loop from outside Rough Trade East is here >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXFSngACXo … Thank you @AERTIME!!" [11]
  • 11:42 PM - 26 Apr 13 "He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him." [12]
  • 12:55 AM - 27 Apr 13 "FYI, we aren't opening at midnight. Thanks." [13]

aeiouer tweeted the following:

  • 11:03 PM - 26 Apr 13 "I'm here! No audio i can hear. Video's of a desert, very sunny. Only shows the Xs in the code, 1st block [14]
  • 11:11 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Don't think the live stream's gonna happen. Sorry. Just a video on loop, no new numbers" [15]
  • 11:17 PM - 26 Apr 13 "There's sound inside. Can't hear it well at all. Callsign then numbers." [16]
  • 11:23 PM - 26 Apr 13 "NOT ACCURATE: Sounds LIKE 59342_? Recording audio for later" [17]
  • 11:28 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Field recorder goes in the mail box to the building" [18]
  • 11:40 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Think it's safe to say nothing's happening tonight. Busy street on friday night, hard to hear [19]
  • 11:43 PM - 26 Apr 13 "But there are numbers coming from the building" [20]
  • 11:44 PM - 26 Apr 13 "Met three others trying to find out too. Good dudes!" [21]
  • 12:13 AM - 27 Apr 13 "I'm going for a big bloody pint! Will check it out again tomorrow. Bad audio uploaded soon" [22]
  • 12:54 AM - 27 Apr 13 "Looks like I'm going back to where I just came from. Adventure!" [23]
  • 1:09 AM - 27 Apr 13 "Nope! Now where did I put that pint?" [24]
  • 2:30 AM - 27 Apr 13 "Have a listen to the (NPR) code here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6238969/loadingbaycode.wav" [25]
  • 2:33 AM - 27 Apr 13 "If anyone else who was there tonight's seeing this, nice to get to know you!" [26]
  • 2:35 AM - 27 Apr 13 "And shout outs to the policeman who found me with the recorder in the letterbox. Nice guy!" [27]
  • 2:39 AM - 27 Apr 13 "Maybe I'll upload the audio of that. Wasn't sure how to explain what I was doing - went for the Easter egg hunt analogy." [28]
  • 2:41 AM - 27 Apr 13 "Interestingly, the video loop changed towards the end. Showed a csch-style video for a bit." [29]
  • 12:10 PM - 27 Apr 13 "@bocpages Hey! Here's the audio from last night: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6238969/loadingbaycode.wav …" [30]

jackbenzie tweeted the following:

  • 12:28 AM - 27 Apr 13 "If you're anywhere near Rough Trade on Brick Lane I'm hearing rumours of "doors being opened at 12". Get there quick! #BoC #BoardsofCanada" [31]
  • 12:41 AM - 27 Apr 13 "RT @RoughTrade He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him. << Close Encounters?! As in #BoC are there in person?!" [32]
  • 12:46 AM - 27 Apr 13 "If this turns out to be the first live Boards of Canada performance in 12 years, the day before I'm in London, I will lose my fucking shit!" [33]
  • 12:51 AM - 27 Apr 13 "9 more minutes... FUCK! #BoC" [34]

Television

Adult Swim is an American timeshare cable television network bundled with Cartoon Network, airing from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am PT/ET in the United States. The ad below has been aired. This video again confirms 699742 being position 1 in the sequence. It was previously hinted at on NPR and on the Loading Bay art gallery video projection.

Jason Demarco who works for Adult Swim and Toonami (which is an animated programming block on Cartoon Network) tweeted the following:

  • 6:19 AM - 28 Apr 13 "Hm, did @adultswim and #toonami just run a new BOARDS OF CANADA thing?? ...yep, we did. :)" [35]

The Toonami tumblr also made the following cryptic announcement at Fri April 26th, 2013 at 1:37pm [36]:

ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT TOMORROW NIGHT!
April 27th means A new TOM, a new Absolution, and the resurrection of IGPX @2am! We’ve also got a new game review, a special goodie from one of our friends (that’s all the hints you get), AND another special surprise. Tune in at the beginning of the night, and keep ooooon watching!
We love you!
xoxo, The Toonami Crew
Posted: Fri April 26th, 2013 at 1:37pm
Tagged: toonami adult swim igpx

@honeybadgerco tweeted the following:

  • 7:45 PM - 28 Apr 13 "Badger Neil Krug Alexander's latest work for Boards of Canada/Warp Records. Oh yeah! http://fb.me/17TuSbSta" [37]

So apparently Neil Krug from Honey Badger created the video which aired on Adult Swim.

He also created this video for "In a Beautiful Place out in the Country":

Website

All BoC's original websites point towards cosecha-transmisiones.com.

The header for the index.php page at [38] has an unusual header, containing the base-64 code

aHR0cDovL2Qyejczdmg3Y3I3OXJ5LmNsb3VkZnJvbnQubmV0L2Nvc2VjaGEubXAz

Base-64 decoding this leads to an URL with an MP3: <flashmp3>813386</flashmp3>


This states the code 813386. Combining all the codes together, without slashes, is the correct password for the terminal on the site. This leads us to a video which reveals the albums title, Tomorrow's Harvest, and a release date of June 10. [39]



Tomorrow's Harvest cover.jpg

Audio clips

Hint 1

------ / ------ / ------ / 936557 / ------ / ------ <flashmp3>4-936557.mp3</flashmp3>

Hint 2

------ / ------ / 717228 / ------ / ------ / ------ <flashmp3>3-717228.mp3</flashmp3>

Hint 3

------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / 519225 <flashmp3>6-519225.mp3</flashmp3>

Hint 4

699742 / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ <flashmp3>2-699742.mp3</flashmp3>

Hint 5

------ / 628315 / ------ / ------ / ------ / ------ <flashmp3>628315.mp3</flashmp3>

Hint 6

------ / ------ / ------ / ------ / 813386 / ------ <flashmp3>813386.mp3</flashmp3>

Resources and Discussion

In the Media