Mu­sica Ob­scura

Mu­sic fanzine, Adel Souto, 60 pgs, adel­souto.com, $6

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

Ever con­sider the emer­gence of David Bowie in light of Michel Fou­cault’s es­say, “The Sub­ject and Power?”

Per­haps only Adel Souto — mu­si­cian and founder of the Feast of Hate and Fear zine — has been down that road. Much of this col­lec­tion of Souto’s writ­ing is a re­count­ing of ob­scure chap­ters in the his­tory of mod­ern mu­sic, but he does in­ject a few such novel no­tions.

Souto’s es­says strad­dle gen­res and con­ti­nents. They jump from the Kh­mer Rouge erad­i­ca­tion of Cam­bo­dia’s mu­sic scene in the 1970s, to mu­sic made by cult bands (lit­eral cults), to playable Dis­ney records printed on boxes of Wheaties. These pieces were mostly sub­mis­sions he made to the new mu­sic web­site No Echo — some were pub­lished, some not.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing Mu­sica Ob­scura, is a CD-ROM that houses 136 mp3s, par­tially from ob­scure artists, but from some rec­og­niz­able names as well: The Diodes, Fela Kuti, But­t­hole Surfers, Cap­tain Beef­heart. Track num­bers are em­bed­ded be­tween es­say para­graphs, for those who want to ex­pe­ri­ence the mu­sic in con­cert with the text. It’s un­likely Souto ac­quired the proper per­mis­sions to re­pro­duce these songs, so pur­chase at your own risk.

These ram­blings could prob­a­bly be adapted into a full-length book if Souto can find a way to con­nect his dis­parate top­ics. (Scott Bryson)

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