Macabre Grimoire Chapter 20 Soviet Bone Music

In post WWII Russia, Stalin banned the possession of any western music. All records allowed in the country had to be of Russian composers. But there was an underground hungry for Western popular music—everything from jazz and blues to rock & roll. But smuggling vinyl was dangerous, and acquiring the scarce material to make copies of those records that did make it into the country was expensive and very risky.
An ingenuous solution to this problem began to emerge in the form of “bone music,” or sometimes called “bones ‘n’ ribs” music, or simply Ribs.
A young 19 year-old sound engineer Ruslan Bogoslowski in Leningrad changed the game when he created a device to bootleg western albums so he could distribute them across Russia. Problem was he couldn’t find material to bootleg his pressings onto, vinyl was scare as were all petroleum products after the war. Then, one day he stumbled upon a pile of discarded X-rays. It worked. At the time, Russian law mandated that all X-rays had to be destroyed after 1 year of storage because they were flammable so he dug through trash bins and paid off orderlies for x-rays.
By carefully cutting the X-rays into circles and burning a hole in the middle with a cigarette, the duo—who dubbed themselves The Golden Dog Gang after the British His Master’s Voice label—cranked out countless bootlegged songs from Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Beatles. They flooded the black market with these cheap precursors to modern flexi discs, all adorned with living—and dead—Soviet skulls, hip bones, femurs, and guts. Shattered kneecaps held the strains of “Birdland.” Elvis Presley warbled out from a broken ribcage. A cracked skull grinned through an anonymous rendition of W. C. Hardy’s “St. Louis Blues.” Ghostly scapulas embraced boogie woogie jamsand for 20 years he handmade about 1,000,000 bootlegs onto X-ray film of everything from classical to the Beach Boys . The dead sang along with the living. For 20 years he handmade about 1,000,000 bootlegs onto X-ray film of everything from classical to the Beach Boys.
The morbid presentation of these records earned them a variety of colorful codenames—“ribs,” “jazz on bones,” “my grandma’s skeleton,” and the more recognized roentgenizdat.

For over 20 years, Bone Music was the only way Russian music lovers could get western music, which they played at “music and coffee parties” in their kitchens, away from the KGB ears and eyes.

Bone Music. A testament to the underground courage to subvert authority, rebellion, and the love of music. The spirit of rock n roll. Unfortunately for the Golden Dogs, it also eventually earned them the attention of the authorities, who caught them distributing forbidden music in 1950 and sentenced both of them to five years hard labor in Siberia. In a stroke of luck for him (and millions of other Russians), Stalin’s death in 1953 brought relief; thousands of prisoners were granted amnesty, and he headed back home armed with even grander plans.

During those long, cold years in prison, Bogoslowski had figured out a method to separate the two layers of the X-rays themselves, and to transfer designs onto the transparent film. He and Taigin got back to work, this time churning out records with both beautiful folk art and ripped-off Western labels—you’d see albums with Columbia Records insignia written in Russian with a Made in Great Britain stamp. All went well for awhile, until they got arrested and chucked into the gulag again.
When Bogoslowski was released several years later, he had one last big idea—he was going to press his own vinyl records. He figured out a way to soften the wax on existing albums, and in the relative privacy of his shed, he pressed real, black vinyl albums that proved immensely popular. How did he get his hands on the proper material? At that time, record stores stocked scores of vinyl records containing patriotic speeches from Lenin and Stalin, priced dirt cheap to encourage citizens to buy them. Bogoslowski bought up a ton of them, which is ultimately what led to this third and final arrest; no one ever really bought those, speeches, so seeing someone swoop in and hustle out with armloads of them clearly looked suspicious to some whistle-blowing clerk. So, back to the gulag he went for three more years of forced labor… all because he wanted to listen to some jazz.

By the time Bogoslowski won his freedom, he was returning to a different world. The reel-to-reel tape recorder had arrived, felling the black market bone business for good and signaling the beginning of the government’s gradual thaw towards the West. There was no need for him to continue bootlegging, so he retired into obscurity (and hopefully stayed out of jail). All in all, the reign of bones over Soviet music only lasted about fifteen years, and their original disposable nature means that there are few surviving copies left. The X-ray audio story has captivated people for decades—even Jack White got in on the action, releasing a pseudo-roentgenizdat of his own in 2013—but Bogoslowski’s story survived only as a historical footnote until recently, when British musician Stephen Coates of The Real Tuesday Weld began The X-Ray Audio Project.

Neill Von Tally and The Last Artful, Dodgr On Their Deep Blend of “Bone Music”

Macabre Grimoire Chapter 20 Soviet Bone Music
Hosts Ari Show, Robert Mehling, and Travis Nye
Produced by Robert Mehling
Voice Over by Dave Holly
Opening Theme Enhance Your Starry Night by Mouthful of Bees

Machine Transcript
[0:00] At the fringes of perception.
Beyond the boundaries a reminder just passed the glow of the fire and the corner of your eyes you will find edge case would.

[0:16] Music.

[0:31] Add cheese podcast coming september tenth learn more red pot dot com.

[0:38] Music.

[0:56] Call walmart weather show me trevor snow robert lane,
welcome again to macabre are in the house but me link and also joining us is mission travis night to tell tari she can’t make it tonight but i think lol,
i think the two of us can consult through this one hey,
search where the tell you all about sofia to own music house yeah contacts with music ecstatic when you put sophie in front of it cooler,
is this a like amelie turned off the regular the other way you dislike and that made all the more from home so here steers the low down.
New post world war two russia stalin band the position of western music.
All records allowed into the country had to be a russian composer but there was an underground.
Hungry for western popular music everything from jazz blues to rock n roll for smokin vinyl was very dangerous at that time see stones many many,
many many many killings yeah hey you know where to start the smoking would been like the cool kids group.

[2:20] Yeah.
Russia is just like oh you got food menu around let’s clean drinking water oh yes i want to stretch out yellow records.
let’s see him smiling and always dangerous and acquiring the material to make copies of those records that did hertha did make it another country was expensive and very risky obviously yeah,
are you a solution to the problem began to emerge in the form of bone music sometimes called bone and ribs music or simply ribs,
which can be really confusing if you got a friend invite them over for ribs just like a man for ribs but that’s a great meal when you get there dislike what some jazz music when i see turn you in to the floor where will i think i just would like.
What are some ribs.

[3:13] Rotation yes ribs popo put i’m guessing with ribs like i’m talking about for probably also be a legal or like under something so just like just rushing river rd.
Beautiful to be human ribs okay that’s legal rushing,
nineteen year old sound engineer rushing and i wanted this pronunciation so bad book a slot ski
that’s pretty happy except me i didn’t think you’re in london grad change the game with heat create a device to bit like western albums that he can distribute them across russia was it cold,
it was not me missed opportunity on his part of the problem she can find material the blade quit,
how is price earnings onto finalists cares as we are all petroleum products after the war
then one day he stumbled onto a pile of discarded x-rays and it worked at the time russian man data all i have to be destroyed one year or after.
After when your storage because they are highly so he gets the trash bins and paid off the order list for x-rays.
I don’t know what is is.

[4:25] Get humidity for some reason that’s like for me its channel with scene in fight club weather like stealing with fat from the right place that can be up there with not quite as growth spurt it’s
weird that’s for sure yeah what are the order if he was use a good for hd.
Can i get some of those egg the children broken screen,
how to play it off it’s like some sort independent scientist researcher three go ahead and comment in this time and russia yeah i’m sure it is kiwi guy like peasant clothing which is correct,
i am ready search for the third adult i like it where you are speaking english with a fake russian rush nikki set,
i carefully cutting the expiration the circles in burning a hole in the middle of there with a cigarette man this is,
get some serious like white trash can up the duo i think you’re too scared to start up here in a good way call themselves the golden gate after help,
the after.

[5:32] Help a british voice label okay say cracked out countless blake songs of louis armstrong ella fitzgerald and the beatles they flooded the black market with these cheap recourse the modern flexi desks,
which i have lookup i had no idea what this order records and basically would like flexible okay,
jose was like a failure in the whole like final thing before people started moving a tape decks ok jeff so,
what’s the god they follow the market these cheap all the doors with with living and add sophia schools hip bones figures and gotze she need capsule the strains of birdly elvis presley ward.
Oh a broken rib cage a crafts call brandon’s throwing this rendition of w sehari st louis blues.
Get a ghost lease calculus increase boogie boogie in for twenty years he had made about one million but legs on the x-ray film of everything from classic to beach boys.

[6:37] Dad saying along with the living with her for twenty years he hand made them what c.
Morbid presentation of these records or and then it name just remembered really like ribs bones and another one i thought was weird my grandma’s skeleton dont care.
I feel like these are all likely a halloween soundtracks like do they use your exact think that’s pretty good.

[7:08] Select secret japan for twenty years but music was the only way rushing in loud music lovers who did the hands of western music in which they played at music and coffee parties in the kitchen away from the UB is the nearest branch.

[7:23] But music is a testament to underground courage to rebellion and love of music and the spirit of rock and roll,
unfortunately for the two gentleman here that just started this movement the golden dogs and also eventually retention for maturity switch after a million but like some dislike,
yeah so it’s a really like.
Speaker please roll dropping the ball on that one is very unfortunate is true it’s not like you have to see a CSI department to track down the guys were doing raya.
Let’s eat so i.
What are the tourism industry before big music in the nineteen fifties and sentenced them both to five years of hard labor in siberia which.
Yeah that sucks that’s basically i mean for one and four atleast the death sentence he means every where is nicer winter but i would not leave business.
Are you a stroke of luck for him and millions of other restaurants stolen stuff in nineteen fifty three but relief thousands of prisoners were granted amnesty anyways headed back home leaving grand plans in case that flight,
you know just being loaded onto the training that last minute from christchurch if you know what it thought that would scare them off of this he can keep going.
During the swine cold years in prison.

[8:47] What were like yahoo and i had figure out the method to separate the two layers of x rays for themselves and transfer the design transparent film.
Yeah it can the other guy got back to work this time turning out records with both beautiful car and ripped off western labels.
Are you see albums with the columbia records in sydney have red in russian with them made great in great britain stamp,
alright well for a while until they got arrested trapped in to where you live again.

[9:21] Let’s see what he was released several years later if he had one last big deal he was going to press i want to buy records if you gotta wait to soften the wax.
What existing label already existing albums and in a relative privacy of the shed depressed really black vinyl albums the proof immensely popular.
How to get hands on the proper material at the time record stores start scores and scores the final records containing patriotic speeches of linen installing price to dirt cheap to encourage citizens to buy them.
What’s up what up tons of them or whatever turn them which ultimately is what lead to certify has a cough,
no i said no wonder we block those vege so i think someone slipping house with arlo then clearly look suspicious to submit the song by brian clark.
Can you lock the web for three more years of hard for labor and this guy loves music is like the music version of george john yeah i mean,
pretty much all because she wanted to listen to some jazz music yeah,
by the time what is freedom the final time he was is returning to a different world reel tape recorder that arrived.
Oh philip feeling the black market.

[10:41] Are ferrari family the black market business for good and selling the beginning of the government scratch,
who is also no need for him to continue play games so he retired 12 security in home please stay out of jail.
I want all the rainbows music of bones over sofia music only lasted about fifteen years in their original spots lol.
Disposable trip departing me.
Disposable me instead they were some of you out there are a few surviving copies left x-ray audio store the extra audio story is captivating people for decades even got in on the action real estate.
Oh rock red in spots with just that the russian words for this ugh its gonna twenty thirteen but blah blah,
austria survived only as a historical footnote until recently when british musician stephen coates of the real tuesday weld begin
the x-rays audio project what are the benefits like doing a documentary gotta like website it’s a giant archive of them and working stuff like that so i can track this guy like a historical preservation can someone survive some of them get survive

[11:54] We have like to hear to the shipping the show notes were gonna play it for you right now but i don’t think travis got a chance here this god knows what here’s what one of the surviving record sounds like no,
apologize in advance it’s not it’s not pretty but no more talking with something that was booked lead gets into an old x-ray.
And the head to survive thirty years in the garage somewhere room.

[12:21] Music.

[12:52] Really doesn hurt i’m who i think is your.

[13:01] Music.

[13:10] No yeah that’s what was said that is good rushing x-ray desk.

[13:18] That bone music i wanna play that my next show in vegas just what is bout this one hundred up let me all over that’s right that being said would you please don’t have a burger for,
researching your country us are though.

[13:38] When i first seen the headline a bone music from the first.
Start the camera in a while back what is the address of the lion king with relaxing playing on bones shirt in like that would’ve been cool many what is the vinyl stuff like that listen to that we have here is like what’s that’s not it.
Um so my first time how easy is the actually to make a bot.
It looks pretty easy but theres like enough i’m sure there’s a lot that goes into it but others there s five machines of a mention did he got to see one an action and that was his.
Its inspiration for do i get to see.

[14:25] Turn the left these articles here to see if they mention that but yeah basically he leave for duplicating vinyl it’s not,
what was it like super easy like like making copies of absence if you like it when is a pretty common and not too hard to do apparently just i mean it’s literally just vibrations,
yeah that’s crazy looking for me to think that they can do that with pretty much have made a claim and it sounds like.
Yeah the idea of like how records work and how we how are recordings of sound actually working i would like a speaker works id still like i understand the science but it still magic to me but flash to madness,
inside with things basically it’s like electrical current.
Some help reduce like the sound of my voice is understandable orchestra and the sound you know like your almost perfectly what show is amazing you know.
And the whole like they stored and little scratch in it like first edition black cylinder in vinyl it’s going.
Let’s be real i no it’s special when the record it’s like they’re really recording light.
Physical sound way flight extended something which is pretty cool right.

[15:45] When did i become hipster and get it if i don’t know maybe like seven years old and talk about how you please just send a recording,
i am still stalking weird stuff you like,
yostoi tgui what the solar flares so naughty like tronic record from the year survivors but really something called podcasts were really babe how do i do with the word yeah salami writings about podcasts.

[16:11] Let’s see,
that’s so funny about music for you is it so short but sweet wine i can wish very good for your for this is what topics yeah but i really need is the remind me to do dad about,
extra sheets yeah i need to sleep but what else would you like.
What else like like you would say it like it was said about him were you got petroleum products like place for trash and yeah.
I got all the shit stuff i bet that look cool yes could you look really cool there’s a lot of.
Pictures of them out there take the side like it’s a fractured skull look up rockstar number spend llegado have like i feel like the one on the top left like a manson cover,
yeah it does not looks like something someone would intentionally make newer the album nevermind be like that’s fucking mad as hell yeah like i don’t know that.

[17:14] That’s somebody’s grandma she had a headache yeah.
But yeah that’s that’s cool when it’s movie about music for you we hope you enjoy this very short episode of the copper more,
we will be the next one here in the next we’re getting to some high strains and notes for you and get back into the paranormal a little bit.
So thank you again for listening i feel like what we do check it out of the empire dot com,
i’ll check out the show our patriotic i do all that stuff and we’d really love reviews of feel like the show if you listened please give review on itunes were you listen to that really helps the show find the listen ers.
Say hi news and new content so we can get suggestions on stuff also there you go.
So thank you very much everyone and we will see you all next time later.

About the Author
Macabre Grimoire is a podcast of paranormal and mystery exploration. Psychic/medium Ari Show, magician Travis Nye, and historian Robert Mehling delve into the dark places where mysteries go unsolved, events go unexplained, and the line between legend and fact becomes obscured. Whether you're a skeptic, believer or something in between, the Macabre Grimoire will change the way you see the world.