Maksim Kravchinskii has been collecting records, tapes, books, and other music-related stuff since his childhood. He managed to turn his hobby into the profession. Maksim is a writer and publisher of numerous books on the history of Russian underground, émigré music and culture. He participated in many academic conferences and read lecturers in Universities and Art festivals of Wien, Cardiff, Tallinn, Moscow and Oxford. “I became obsessed with music since my childhood. Wherever I go, I always try to find a store or a flea market where they sell old records. Going there always feels like treasure hunting in Ali Baba’s cave.

I was born in the Soviet Union. A country with strict censorship where many things were prohibited. Music wasn’t free of those restrictions either. That is why my main interest is “forbidden songs”. It is hard to explain why can songs be banned in the first place? And it wasn’t just a ban; the performers or record sellers of such songs were put in jail. Not so long ago, as much as thirty years ago (not to mention earlier times), in a country called the USSR, it was a common thing. We have to learn a historical lesson to understand how it came to this” – says Maksim.