Soviet-era bootleg music recorded on discarded X-ray plates


By Clare Wilson YOU could say Soviet-era hipsters had music in their bones. Ghostly bootleg records made from repurposed X-ray plates offer a glimpse into the counterculture movement whose members were prepared to risk imprisonment for rock ‘n’ roll. Music was strictly censored in the USSR. Only classical or patriotic tunes were deemed ideologically acceptable – you could be arrested for listening to Western music or even traditional folk tunes. But in the 1950s, a handful of music fans in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) began to defy the state. Before long, an underground cottage industry in home-made records had sprung up. Unable to get hold of vinyl, the audio dissidents used home-made lathes to press recordings onto X-ray plates salvaged from hospitals. The records were then cut into circles with scissors and the central hole burnt with a cigarette. By the 1960s, Roentgenizdat (bone records) could be found on the black market in every Russian city. “They were made by ordinary people,” says Stephen Coates, whose book X-Ray Audio tells the story of this contraband music. “People ended up in prison for this.” The discs will be exhibited at the The Horse Hospital in London until 19 December. You can listen to some of the recordings at bit.ly/1Ns5ehF. This article appeared in print under the headline “Bone collectors” More on these topics:
  • 首页
  • 游艇租赁
  • 电话
  • 关于我们