X-Ray Sound

A different type of bootlegging: in the USSR and Eastern Europe in the 1950s underground night spots would play music pirated from the west. The only media they had were records etched into discarded X-ray film.

(…) enterprising young people with technical skills learned to duplicate records with a converted phonograph that would “press” a record using a very unusual material for the purpose; discarded x-ray plates. This material was both plentiful and cheap, and millions of duplications of Western and Soviet groups were made and distributed by an underground roentgenizdat, or x-ray press (…)

Further reading on underground music in the Soviet era.

One Response to “X-Ray Sound”

  1. Balint says:

    Geeee… I’ve never heard of it, though my mother works in a hospital as an X-ray assistant. She might not be a REAL musiclover? :-)
    Anyway, we (Hungary) usually used simple tape-recorders to get song – most of the real interesting band had no chance to have an album, some of them were banned, so we had some bootlegs of these shows (until these band could not perform live at all). Some of these recordings are real gems now – as they were that time, too. (Imagine a show re-recorded from tape to tape 6-7 times or more… not exactly hi-fi :-) )