Packaging / Product Development
Identity / Editorial
During the mid-20th century, producing, performing, and listening to Western and Western-style music was forbidden. Undeterred, audiophiles risked everything to listen to the music they loved, creating an underground bootlegging movement that would put today’s YouTube Audio Rippers to shame. Many Bone Music listeners were part of the 'Stilyagi' counterculture movement known for their Western-inspired outfits and hair. Since vinyl was scarce, these music lovers would etch sound into discarded x-rays from the local hospitals, distributing these improvised records in secret.
The primary typeface used is Korolev, developed by Rian Hughes, and inspired by an ‘anonymous alphabet seen in photos of the Red Square Parades”. Reflecting the voices of the Soviet Union in accordance with, and in opposition to the Stilyagi color was integral to the overall design. The anonymous alphabet that inspired this typeface also reflects the anonymous voices of many Soviet musical artists.
The grainy quality of the recording reflects the natural degradation of the bootleg records. The vinyl of these X-rays is much thinner than traditional vinyl records, so repeated spins under the needle mean that the material (and therefore the sound) breaks down.
* All credit to the wonderful X-Ray Audio Project by The Bureau of Lost Culture who digitized this recording and is doing great things to preserve the legacy of Bone Music for future generations.