June 19, 2014
Originally posted on FACT.
Banned music concealed in Soviet bones.
In 1950s Russia, one of the only ways to hear blues, jazz and rock’n’roll from America was to get hold of one of these – a bootleg record pressed up on a discarded X-ray plate.
Being caught with banned music could get you arrested, but music-starved Soviet citizens used their nous to turn salvaged hospital waste into what’s effectively an incognito dubplate.
With a special lathe, bootlegs were pressed on thick radiographs found in hospital bins and then cut into rough discs around 25 centimetres across, sometimes using a cigarette to burn the central hole.