Wednesday 31 December 2014

banned to the bone or disc-jockey jump

Though Western music was officially restricted in Soviet Russia, some bootleg copies of jazz standards and the emerging rock-and-roll were already circulating in the 1950s and the privileged few who got to listen were starving for more and wanted to share—of course, the taboo experience with others. Vinyl as the media, however, came at a high premium and conventional propagation would have aroused the suspicion of censors, so the aficionados/bootleggers/pirates discovered an innovative and resourceful solution: raiding the dumpsters of medical facilities with radiology departments, they took discarded x-ray films and impressed the grooves of the music onto the radiographs. Colossal has a fine little gallery of these improvised albums plus several links that document more on the history of this phenomenon.