Our humble attempt at English translation of Alexander Kushnir’s book 100 Магнитоальбомов Советского Рока (100 Tape Albums of Soviet Rock) (subtitled “1977-1991: 15 Years of Underground Sound Recording / 1977-1991 – 15 лет подпольной звукозаписи”). Thanks to everyone supportive of this venture.
First of all, what the hell is the магнитоальбом mentioned in the original title of the book? To put it simply – it’s a magnetic tape. In the Soviet Union rock music was a) largely forbidden for its (presumably) rebellious nature and hence had no way to be recorded officially and distributed on vinyl (Аквариум [Aquarium]’s Равноденствие being one of the most important exclusions) b) not known by the majority of population.
It was recorded mainly on four-tracks “studios” by musicians themselves or with a helping hand of sound-engineers of that time (such as Andrey Tropillo – 2002’s English interview with him is available). – Vladimir Toss / mirddin
Taste of Magnetic Bread
Introduction to standards of Soviet tape recording culture
…Birth of collective musical conscience is happening! Millions of tape machines across the country merge into spiritual industry, millions of souls are responding through cassette selector! This is a phenomenon!
From the standpoint of acoustics and sound architecture our early recordings represent total absurdity
Records that are commercial failures often turn out to be the most interesting ones. Because process is everything and the end result is nothing. To make a product is boring.
I love listening to recordings that beginner bands are sending my way. The music itself is completely uninteresting, but the recording is so horrific and so unprofessional that I can’t stay away. This is life.
…We had no idea how to record properly. Today you can find movies and magazines where some Phil Spector will explain to you how to mix sound properly and what sound console to use. In the 80s we didn’t even had photos of professional studios. We were making it all up while on the run.
Vladimir Begunov, Chaif
Let the new generation not repeat the mistakes we made.
Dmitry Revyakin, Kalinov Most