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Dance on Bones

July 1, 2013

ImageIn Soviet Russia, albums were bootlegged onto old X–ray slides, a phenomenon known as roentgenizdat or dance on bones.

Here’s a few links to articles about roentgenizdat:

Records on bones typically cost about 1.5 rubles…very inexpensive.


Up to 3,000,000 records may have been distributed on X-ray up through 1958.

Here’s a few more references:

  • Joshua Rothman, “You spin me right round, like an X-ray,” The Boston Globe, 20 March 2011.
  • “Jazz on Bones: X-Ray Sound Recordings,” Street Use, 28 August 2006.
  • Artemy Troitsky, Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia, (Omnibus Press: 1987).

And here’s a link to a collection of photos and a video.  If you click on the image of the X-ray being cut, you can see a video of them making a new Dance on Bones recording.

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