Run by Alex Gross and Ashton Holland, east London club night Left Alone has garnered a healthy – and loyal – group of attendees who come to nod their heads to whichever under-the-radar DJ or artist the duo has decided to champion. In July of 2017, Alex and Ashton released the Left Alone Zine, an outlet to produce something physical from these basements nights, and the second issue has just followed.
Alex, who is one third of design studio Our Place, and Ashton, a DJ, have “always both been big fans of DIY zines – particularly punk and industrial stuff from the 1970s and 80s, and created the zine almost in homage to those, interviewing the artists we’ve booked over time,” Alex explains. Left Alone Zine’s latest offering, with its metallic silver and black pages, packed full of experimental typesetting, feels like an altogether 2018 update to this tried and tested format.
Over double the size of the previous issue, Left Alone Zine issue two takes those inspirations and expands upon them, featuring six interviews compared to the previous two in issue one. “We wanted to be a little more ambitious with this one, which may explain why it took so long,” Alex jokes. Featuring the likes of Zaltan, a Parisian DJ and founder of the label Antinote, Elena Colombi, a Brussels-based DJ, and Fergus Clark, found of 12th Isle records, the zine is an extension of the inclusive and friendly atmosphere the pair has established at Left Alone’s events.
While the content of the zine extends the character of the nights, its design extends the aesthetic – a factor which has become almost as significant and recognisable as the music. “The design for Left Alone has always been pretty chaotic and playful, but still controlled,” Alex tells It’s Nice That, “There’s something in that that’s always reflected the night itself and not taking ourselves too seriously.” The zine, therefore provides Alex, alongside Our Place co-founder Ted Heffernan, with the opportunity to translate this into editorial content, creating something functional but with enough play to feel truly Left Alone. “We definitely took a more lighthearted approach with the title pages, one uses the shape of a Buckfast bottle. There is some method to the madness,” Alex promises.
A notable step-up from Left Alone Zine’s first issue, the publication is sure to turn the heads of graphic design and music fans alike. Beyond its slick design, the zine provides a means for the pair to further relationships with the DJs and artists they invite to Left Alone; a printed embodiment of everything Alex and Ashton hope their nights will achieve. “We’ve always been pretty proud that we’re not promoters who just book people and never speak to them again,” Alex adds. Plus, with a free cassette featuring mixes by two featured artists, a pin badge, poster and stickers, what’s not to like…
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.