Part 3 of the chapter 2 of our translation of Alexandr Kushnir’s book 100 Tapes of Soviet Rock (100 Магнитоальбомов Советского Рока). Archives can be found here.
Thanks to everyone supportive of this venture.
…Rise of magnetophon culture really peaked in the 80s – in between “monoseventies” and computerized 90s. Few years before Moscow Olympics modern recording equipment went on sale. Taking over the scary machines like Dnipro, Romantik and Chaika were reel stereo magnetophones with 19th speed of recording/reproduction: Rostov, Yupiter, Mayak, Nota. In place of a tape that was rough and tearing apart, made out of di and tri-acetate, audiophiles had reels with type 10 tape in their shaky hands. Few know that the original versions of Sinii Albom, Treugolnik and Tabu were recorded on the ordinary tape made by Shostkin manufacturing association Svema sold by the store around the corner.
New technologies, including the Hungarian stationary STM magnetophon and the Soviet stereo machine MEZ-62, converted underground rock to a higher fidelity. The ability to create a full stereo recording led to an entire world of its own – complete with its own coordinators, “writers”, producers and sound engineers.
In Moscow the deadlock was broken in 77 – thanks to assertiveness and business acumen of Aleksandr Kutikov (Visokosnoe Leto) who took a job at the so-called “educational speech studio” of GITIS as a janitor. By that time one of the most popular Moscow bass guitarists already had experience with sound engineering work: at the production room, on the reportage machines, in sound ton-rooms, in the trailers of concert tonstudios. “I used to record everything – from Karel Gott to Poyuschie Gitari – the future sound producer of TV series Staryie Pesni o Glavnom reminisces with a smile about his combat experience.”