Check out these incredible images of Soviet-era bootleg records pressed on discarded X-rays

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.

If you’re proficient in German you can read more about these artefacts of Soviet censorship on Der Spiegel; we found them via Vinyl of the Day.


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