This afternoon, DIY and indie fans are mourning the loss of the Pitchfork-associated blog collective Altered Zones, whose founders posted a farewell message to the site this afternoon, citing new endeavors. The site was a mere 16 months old, but boasted early adoption of indie acts like Woods, Real Estate, Danish punks Iceage, and Quebecoise art-popper Grimes.
Launched in July 2010, the Brooklyn-based site covered international underground and DIY acts via its collective of partner blogs, which included the likes of Gorilla Vs. Bear and Yours Truly. Coverage concentrated on "the more overlooked narratives in contemporary music--the proliferation of home-recorded sounds, small-scale releases, and pockets of underground activity."
In the goodbye post, Altered Zone founders Ric Leichtung and Emilie Friedlander explain the departure:
This site began as a tight-knit collective of 14 music blogs with a common goal, but as many of our original contributors moved on from their blogs to start labels, run venues, create zines, and make music of their own, that original group has become increasingly splintered. We love what we've built, and the idea of it remaining as a sort of time capsule of this particular era of music feels right.
Both Leichtung and Friedlander are also contributors to Pitchfork; in the announcement, the duo said that they will continue their efforts at the tastemaking website. Additionally, they will launch a new site, called Ad Hoc, sometime in 2012; according to the homepage, it will be a "100% independent, daily music and visual culture publication."
Following the message, the Twittersphere and Facebook were abuzz with the news, as comments from the DIY and independent community ranged from remorse to jokes about the site's short-lived run to optimism about Ad Hoc:
Ryan Schreiber, founder of Pitchfork Media
Underwater Peoples, the Livingston, NJ-based independent label responsible for early releases by indie acts like Ducktails, Real Estate, and Mountain Man.
Cats Purring, the Oxford, MS-based indie boasting releases by artists like Bass Drum of Death, Youth Lagoon, and Dent May.
(In perhaps the cleverest iteration of commentary on the end of Altered Zones, an impostor Twitter account, @aiteredzones, has taken the opportunity to satirize the discontinuation, assuming the identity of the site and tweeting as if it has now gained sentience--and freedom from its editorial oppressors.)
Click here to read the entire farewell note.