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100 Tape Albums of Soviet Rock 100 Магнитоальбомов Советского Рока Cover

Part 1 of our translation of Chapter 3 from 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.

How would he know he’s a wire before they turned the electricity on?

Boris Grebenshikov / Work of Master Bo

The most global processes in the field of underground recording were taking place in Leningrad. The man in charge behind this operation was “an emissary from outer space” named Andrei Tropillo. Whirlwind of his activity designed to promote Soviet rock can only be compared to the role George Martin playing in creating the unique sound of Beatles.

Andrei  Vladimirovich Tropillo was born March 21, 1951. “Same day as Johann Sebastian Bach” as Tropillo, who never suffered from excessive humbleness, likes to clarify. To be fair the man that recorded nearly all of Leningrad rock in the 80s knows his worth…

Tropillo’s talent for technology didn’t came out of nowhere.  In the 1930s his father Vladimir Andreevich developed the first domestic radiolocator that allowed to locate planes within the radius of few kilometers. The radiolocator story did not end well. Jealous coworkers accused Tropillo of…planning an attempt on Stalin and credited all the documentation for themselves.

Tropillo was convicted under article 57 – presumably due to refusal to snitch on non-existent terrorist friends. Of course he struggled to find work for a long time after getting out of jail – who needs an enemy of the state? But Tropillo didn’t quite feel down in the dumps. Following the successful employment of his neon landing signs system in besieged Leningrad Vladimir Andreevich was promoted to major. That was his peak, however. Once the victorious euphoria subsided he taught at the Air Force Academy for awhile and after 58 he began work as a teacher at the Music School.


Мифы – Черная Суббота (Myths – Black Saturday) (1981)

Мануфактура – Зал Ожидания (Manufaktura – Waiting Room) (1985)


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