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Musica Obscura

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

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.

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