Roentgenizdat

In 1950s Russia, underground music lovers listened to banned Western hits on home-made records pressed on discarded X-ray film. The records were called “roentgenizdat,” or “X-ray pressed” records.

An X-ray pressing of “St. Louis Blues,” from this online collection of roentgenizdat.

Western music was largely banned in the USSR, and so pop music lovers had to copy smuggled records themselves, using very basic equipment. In place of expensive vinyl, they discovered that old X-ray film, liberated from hospital dumpsters, worked well enough, and thus roentgenizdat were born. In fact, they were a key part of a vibrant underground music scene, opposed at every turn by the state. In 1959, with the establishment of an official “Music Patrol,” many roentgenizdat distributors were actually sent to prison. (reblogged from Boston.com -link)

Additional images (here)

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