Born from a love of music, Left Alone is a platform that will “always have its roots in the parties.”
A “natural progression” for both its founders, Left Alone’s first printed publication by Alex Gross, from east London studio Our Place, and NTS DJ Ashton Holland comes from a shared obsession with music. “We’ve been putting on events for a few years now – we wanted to branch out and offer something further. We’ve been sporadically releasing mixes online from DJs we love and we have been discussing the idea of moving into a label,” Alex tells It’s Nice That. “But the DIY approach to zines is something we have always gravitated to and been fascinated with – so we thought we should give it a proper go.”
Stemming from his creative years at university, Alex first ventured into design and publishing through his personal project, Our Place – intended as a residence to produce freelance work. From this project, “it all snowballed from there and [I’ve] been at it full time for a few years now.” Naturally, his transition into creating a hub for music-goers and makers was a swift and appropriate conversation between himself and Ashton.
“I’ve always had a fascination with typography and I guess it all stemmed from there,” says Alex with regards to how he got the ball rolling with the new zine. “Left Alone was something Ashton (who is also the LA resident DJ) and I started around the same time. Our aim was to bring our favourite DJs – who rarely get booked in London – to play here.”
By running the zine alongside their parties, Left Alone aims to reach out to their audience in the timeliest of manners. As a fitting duet of dance music and print, those who find their way to the duo’s “fairly niche” gatherings are then given the opportunity to find out more about the artists and DJs who have been booked to play. “The scene is quite tight knit, so hopefully a lot of them are going to be reading it,” explains Alex. “Then there’s record store goers and some people who will be buying it for the design side too…we approach it from the perspective of a fan more than anything, and creating something that we want to read as much as anyone else!”
The zine’s pages are clearly crafted with pure devotion, passion and, most importantly, fun. “It’s hard to pinpoint particular inspiration – it’s been developing over time. I’m a very type-focused designer and I rarely begin a project with more than just letterforms in mind,” says Alex. “Left Alone is about having fun. As it’s something I’m involved with, it’s exciting to change it around each time; although there’s a thread running through it all, it’s always quite a different process designing each poster, mix artwork and now the zine.”
As for the future, Alex tells us “our plan is to feature the DJs and musicians we book for each of our parties. With this first issue, we also wanted to feature Lucien, an illustrator who does all of Nosedrip’s artwork for his NTS show. We’ve always loved his work.”
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