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X-Ray Audio’s history of Russia's vinyl bootlegs

The Vinyl Factory and Antique Beat have teamed up with X-Ray Audio to make a documentary about Soviet vinyl bootlegs

The Vinyl Factory and Antique Beat have been working with the X-Ray Audio project to make a short documentary about the Soviet X-ray bootleg phenomenon. Based on research done by the bone music historians Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield, X-Ray Audio – The Documentary tells the story of Cold War era Leningrad’s music obsessives and cultural dealers who cut forbidden grooves into discarded X-Ray sheets. “It was the ultimate act of punk resistance,” declares X-Ray Audio, “a two-fingered salute to the repressive regime that gave a generation of young Soviets access to forbidden Western and Russian music.”

Vinyl Factory’s Anton Spice explains, “Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield of X-Ray Audio have been working on unearthing these records and tracking down the people behind them for some years, and they approached us last summer to help write, edit and produce a documentary that would tell the story, from the point of view of those involved, for the first time.”

The film features interviews with X-Ray record bootlegger Rudy Fuchs, buyer and amateur dealer Nick Markovitch, and Beatles fanatic Kolya Vasin.

More information about the project can be found at the X-Ray Audio website. A hardback book featuring photographs, essays and interviews called The Strange Story Of Soviet Music 'On The Bone' is available via Antique Beat. And you can watch the film below.