Experimental music zine Deft Esoterica

Hello all, I am so pleased to bring to your attention the first issue of my print-only zine Deft Esoterica!

Issue one includes interviews with the lovely Iranian duo NUM, Scottish sound artist and composer Phil Maguire, and Portuguese drone synthesist Angelo Vicente Jr. There are also reviews of fifteen albums broadly under the categories of experimental/electronic/drone/noise music. Some of my own story and thoughts as well. Illustrations and abstract drawings by my partner Ola.

Shipping is most reasonable for a single issue, which is $3 (USD) to the US and Canada and $5 elsewhere. Multiple issues become a “package” to the post office and are a bit pricier to ship.

Very excited about/humbled by the positive response I have been getting and wanted to share☺️



Sounds quite interesting but why print only?

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Cool! Sounds very interesting.
I like that it’s print only! :slight_smile: That’s how a zine should be!

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dont get me wrong, not complaining, I like printed magazines and books. I was more curious about the decision making process to go only print when you could certainly reach a broader readership by having a blog/online magazine too.

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It’s a totally valid question.
Just to be clear, my reply was part tongue in cheek, part expression of my personal appreciation for the decision.
But I’ll let @Claude elaborate on it.

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Would you consider sending a copy to the Toronto Zine library?

It is a nice collection of over 3000 zines, but not much on experimental music.

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Thanks for your interest and yes, the print-only aspect is quite reasonable to inquire about!

The decision to be print-only is multifaceted, nostalgia playing a significant role. Zines were a way for me to feed my nearly insatiable desire to learn more about obscure music back in the day and I always wanted to make one. I did have a tripod webzine at that time, which was entertaining. While I know there are many and better blog-type options today, the physical experience of touching the object, like playing an LP, 7", cassette, or CD, is an interaction that matters to me. A print zine has a thingness (:slightly_smiling_face:) that is pretty thrilling for me these days. Existentially, I am never going to get any younger and doing those “someday” things has become much more important to me, particularly after my father’s passing a few years ago.

There are obviously some downsides, such as potentially reduced readership, as was mentioned. The expense of the purchase and shipping could certainly be a burden for some readers; I have curtailed much of my own spending and haven’t been splurging on tapes or modules for awhile now, so this is often on my mind. I don’t plan on letting these go out of print, so hopefully if one has to wait to weather the expense I can accommodate that.

I do think, for me, print-only is an inspiring limitation. I don’t own any graphic design or layout software, but I like the results I have gotten just the same. Ola’s drawings and illustrations are key to this aspect. While they would also look great online, the limitations on what I am able to do in print don’t feel limiting because I’m learning along the way. Her paintings are very colorful, but I am not printing in color. Thankfully, she likes working in pen and ink. That and two free typefaces, used responsibly (I hope), together with my interest and enthusiasm for the interviewees as people seems to be a good starting point. We have to start somewhere and in all honesty this humble endeavor has been very satisfying and thrilling for me. It is also great to collaborate with my partner, particularly on something we can sell at shows, which lends a nice context and helps with the inevitable expense of traveling to reach new audiences.

Lastly, zines provide a chance to take a break from this lovely internet!

Hope this ramble makes sense, it’s been a long day :slight_smile:


Hey all, just letting you know that another issue of Deft Esoterica is released!

Issue two has grown from 44 to 60 pages, but the format is unchanged. I interview Danish-Canadian ambient sound artist FernLodge, Polish drone maestro Calineczka, and Dutch composter and synthesist Raoul van Herpen. Reviews of albums by:

Angelo Vicente Jr
David Fyans
Gamma Function
Golden Chorale
Hoan Kiem Chess Team
Jerod Sommerfeldt
Luciano Maggiore
Phil Maguire & Anne La Berge
Noxious Insect
Peter Kutin
The Radish Brothers
Roland Emile Kuit
Shedding & Josh Mason
S. Pakhomov
Susana Lopez

I also wrote a little essay about releasing a limited cassette.

I also reduced my shipping prices, essentially eliminating a “handling” fee I was initially encouraged to include.

Just wanted to get the word out!

Here’s one (cruelly) just for US residents: Synthesist Luke Teaford is sponsoring a giveaway of issue two of Deft Esoterica, details in this Instagram post:

Hi Claude. I would like to send you something to review, please could you contact me with an address for postage.



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DM sent!:slightly_smiling_face: