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How Electronic Music Was Changed Forever By Czech Smugglers

Now that’s dedication.

People always talk about suffering for their art, but we bet not many have smuggled for it too. Growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia, Pavel Růžička and Petr Dvořák were severely cut off from developments in Western music and synthesizer technology. That didn’t stop them from forming pioneering electronic group ORM in the late ’70s. To do this they often had to resort to smuggling state-of-the-art synthesizers like the Prophet 5 across the Czech border to make their unique brand of psychedelic and melodic disco, all of which became influential cult records years later. Read the incredible story of making music in tumultuous times here.

Read more: The X-ray Audio Project uncovers the bizarre history of Communism’s blackmarket bootlegs