Music

Artists donate unreleased material for X-ray records project

Previously unreleased music and spoken word audio has been donated to the projects by artists such as Massive Attack, Noam Chomsky and Alex Somers
Previously unreleased music and spoken word audio has been donated to the projects by artists such as Massive Attack, Noam Chomsky and Alex Somers
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The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection features music and monologues etched onto X-ray film using an original 1957 recording lathe
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The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection features music and monologues etched onto X-ray film using an original 1957 recording lathe
Previously unreleased music and spoken word audio has been donated to the projects by artists such as Massive Attack, Noam Chomsky and Alex Somers
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Previously unreleased music and spoken word audio has been donated to the projects by artists such as Massive Attack, Noam Chomsky and Alex Somers
This monologue from Noam Chomsky has been etched onto a full skeleton X-ray
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This monologue from Noam Chomsky has been etched onto a full skeleton X-ray
The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection is designed to be displayed as artwork, but can be played on a turntable around 10-15 times before the audio degrades and disappears
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The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection is designed to be displayed as artwork, but can be played on a turntable around 10-15 times before the audio degrades and disappears

Music lovers in the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 60s had to sneak modified X-ray plates on their turntables if they wanted to listen to tunes from prohibited international artists like the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley or the Rolling Stones. Now the University of the Underground has etched tracks by modern artists onto X-rays of skulls, skeletons and joints and put them up for auction.

The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection from the University of the Underground, Collecteurs and the Bureau of Lost Culture features unreleased music and monologues from the likes of Massive Attack, Noam Chomsky, Alex Somers, Jónsi of Sigur Rós and Russian punksters Pussy Riot.

A few of the discs show joints, there are images of the spine, human hands and feet are present, as well as one or two full skeletons and skulls.

The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection features music and monologues etched onto X-ray film using an original 1957 recording lathe
The Library of Dangerous Thoughts collection features music and monologues etched onto X-ray film using an original 1957 recording lathe

The limited edition radiography film records are etched using a 1957 recording lathe. They'll come with a certificate of authenticity and are intended to be displayed as artwork on the walls of collectors, but can be played – though only around 10-15 times before the audio degrades and disappears.

All proceeds from the sale will go to the University of the Underground, "a charity offering free and transnational education for the next generation of creatives."

As of writing, music from Massive Attack – a Brit band that's no stranger to unconventional recording mediums – seems to be attracting most interest from auction bidders, though the highest bid is for a spoken word track from linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky. The short video below has more on the project.

Source: The University of the Undergound

UniversityoftheUnderground BureauofLostCulture Collecteurs LibraryofDangerousThoughts MassiveAttackV

2 comments
Douglas Bennett Rogers
A perfect use for the ELM laser record player!
Douglas Bennett Rogers
My mistake: ELP--Edison Laser Player, if money is no object.