Recently, electronic duo The Avalanches printed a very limited (12 copies, to be exact) run of 7” singles of their new song “Reflecting Light” feat. Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan. The special pressing was made on X-Ray film, featuring a scan of skateboard legend Tony Hawk’s injured hand, and then mounted onto transparent PVC.
Now Hawk is offering up his copy of the rare 7” to raise funds for his non-profit, The Skatepark Project, which helps underserved communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth. Fans can donate any amount to the Skatepark Project and automatically be entered to win Hawk’s copy of “Reflecting Light.”
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Lovers of life! In a tribute to the ‘bone records’ of the 1950’s Soviet era, (where banned western records were cut onto X-Ray film and smuggled into the USSR to avoid authorities) we’ve come together with the one and only @tonyhawk for a unique one off pressing. Printed onto film and mounted onto transparent PVC, this X-Ray of Tony’s June skating injury is limited to one only, and plays our new single ‘Reflecting Light’ (ft. @sananda.maitreya & @vashtibunyan ) in all it’s translucent 45 rpm glory. Donate ANY amount to Tony’s ‘The Skatepark Project’ via the link in our bio, and you will automatically enter the draw to win this one – off 7” record. Thank you @tonyhawk for the work you do and for so kindly offering your X-Ray for this project. @theskateparkproject supports disadvantaged communities and at-risk children, and to-date has awarded over $10-million to more than 600 public skatepark projects across the U.S and $150,000 in support of the Skateistan program in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. Thank you @smallrunvinyl
According to an Instagram post from the Australian duo, they chose to team up with Hawk for this rare pressing as “a tribute to the ‘bone records’ of the 1950’s Soviet era, (where banned western records were cut onto X-Ray film and smuggled into the USSR to avoid authorities).”
Initially, these records were created out of coated paper, but, as one might imagine, they would only last through a few short plays. Ruslan Bogoslowski – who was later jailed in Siberia for his work – discovered that printing rock’n’roll and jazz records on discarded X-Rays proved to be much more versatile. Roughly cut into circles, with cigarette-burned center holes, bone music became quite popular in the 50s and was often listened to during secret gatherings in private homes. While the KGB cracked down heavily on sales of bone records, these very rare pressings remain highly sought after by collectors.
The X-Ray on “Reflecting Light,” meanwhile, was used with the cooperation of Hawk, who got the scan in June after dislocating his fingers. The cosmic single, which features the soulful vocals of Sananda Maitreya and samples Vashti Bunyan’s 1970 track, “Glow Worms,” was originally released in July. Pitchfork called the track a “luxuriating piece of synth-pop… the Avalanches gradually intertwine Bunyan’s 50-year-old melodies into Maitreya’s melismas, culminating in a final minute of past/present unity that reminds you of how exhilarating their music can be.”
“Reflecting Light” was released alongside “Wherever You Go” feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry, and CLYPSO, and follows “We Will Always Love You” feat. Blood Orange and “Running Red Lights” feat. Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu. The singles all come ahead of the group’s long-awaited new album.