It was once a rite of passage for rebellious Soviet teens: listening to censored music on homemade vinyls pressed onto discarded medical X-rays. Now, a new collection of unheard tracks has been created using the same DIY tech.
Initiated by the University of the Underground, hosted by digital museum Collecteurs and produced by the Bureau of Lost Culture, the project hopes to raise awareness of censorship and encourage plurality of thinking across the globe.
The tracks include unreleased songs and monologues by celebrities including Pussy Riot and Noam Chomsky, as well as a cover of a subversive Soviet classic, Yegor Letov’s “Vsyo Idyot Po Planu” (Everything’s Going According to Plan), from UK band Massive Attack.
Multiple copies of each track are still up for sale, with one additional copy ready to be held in the group’s archive, The Library of Dangerous Thoughts. The team says that the new vinyls were created as artworks, but all of the records can still be played — although, just like the originals, the music will disappear from the film’s delicate surface after just 10-15 spins.
All proceeds will go to help the University of the Underground fund their research into countercultures and freedom of expression from their base in an Amsterdam nightclub.