Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Meltdown" remastered and on NativeDSD!

Our album "Meltdown" remastered by Magnetic Fidelity in DSD format:



This album was recorded, mixed and mastered using exclusively analog equipment and magnetic tape. The conversion to DSD was done with high quality equipment directly from the analog mastertapes. No signal processing was done in the digital domain. The DSD version is a direct transfer of the master tape, with every effort taken to ensure that it sounds as close as technically possible to the original analog recording.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We have existed for a relatively short period of time as a band, but a lot happened during this time. Zone of Alienation was some kind of experiment, to see if we could really do things the way we wanted to, as artists, without having to comply with the strict limits imposed by the music industry and the capitalist system. We wanted to see if we would be able to drum up enough support from audiences, internationally, to make it possible to tour, take our music much further away than the boundaries of our studio, record and release albums, and do anything else a band would want to do, without having to compromise our art to make it more "market-friendly". We wanted to create art that doesn't abide by marketing principles. We wanted no middle-men. We wanted to create art and bring it directly to the people, fresh, alive, and not molested by the capitalist market. To a certain extent we did just that. We toured, and we recorded and released an album that sounds just like we wanted it to sound.

But, this is where the good news end. The bad news, is that we really had to go through hell and back several times during our short existence. The world is unfortunately depending on capitalism much more than we previously thought. You cannot do things that need money, without money. You can do different things, that don't need as much money, but then you're up against another brick wall. People are used to the things that need money, and they are not yet ready to accept, or understand, different methods of working, on a large scale. So while it is definitely possible to play music and have no money, it is almost impossible to tour without money. It is impossible to maintain high-fidelity audio equipment without money. It is impossible to maintain traditional concert venues without money. The same goes for recorded music and releasing albums. If you like your music coming directly from the artist, and not from the bureaucratic suits in an A&R office of a capitalist record company, you need to enable artists to do it themselves. If you like being able to afford albums from your favorite artists, even when you're having a bad break at work, you need to really support donations-based experiments when you are comfortable enough to do so. If everyone with some extra pennies donated them to donations-based concerts and record stalls, there would be enough money made to cater for the people who aren't so lucky at the moment, and still keep the bands and concert venues going. We also tried the groundbreaking idea of trying to tour without handling money, but asking for fuel, motor oil, food, drumsticks and guitar strings instead. Needless to say, it failed epically.

On top of that, we also repeatedly get attacked, injured, detained, molested and insulted, by the several enforcers, supporters and continuators of capitalism, such as border guards, highway cops, customs officials, alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, fascist gangs, paramilitary organizations, greedy promoters, and so on and so forth...

To some extent, this has always been the reality of the independent artist. We have made it in the past against all odds, we have managed to keep on doing it as individuals and with other bands. In this world, nowadays, it is expected that artists will suffer for their art. This is what people are used to seeing, or comfortably ignoring. The only reason artists still manage to survive is support. Mutual aid. Helping each other. The audience and art appreciators in general helping out as much as they can.

With Zone of Alienation, for some reason, since the very beginning we have been getting the shit end of the stick from everywhere and everything. Much more so than with any other band we've ever been in or met. Because of this tension and other personal problems, we are no longer as close as we used to be with each other. We are no longer able to support each other as much as is necessary to keep such a project going. This was a venture that also relied heavily in audience participation and strong DIY principles. The participation was unfortunately below the threshold. The DIY scene in Europe at the moment is in quite a sad state. It has definitely seen better days in the past, and it definitely has a lot to learn from the DIY scene in the USA.

Therefore, in true DIY fashion, you should all go and make your own music now.

We've had enough. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us during our short-lived attempt at being a band, everyone who encouraged us and supported us, all the wonderful people that came to our shows, the few daring and death-defying people who organized and promoted our shows without exploiting us. Without you, it wouldn't have even started. But unfortunately, this effort was not enough to keep it going. It wasn't sustainable. Not only financially, but also psychologically and physically. We are quite literally sick and tired. We cannot keep Zone of Alienation going.

We hope that what we did manage to do so far will act as an inspiration for some of you. We will still remain active as artists individually and with other bands or collective projects. We hope that to those of you that this announcement comes as a shock, or as unexpected in any way, shape or form, it will also act as an eye-opener.

Support the DIY scene if you want it to still be there tomorrow.

Not just in words. REALLY support it! Like, cook a healthy warm meal for DIY bands that come to your town. Offer them a comfy place to sleep. Give them a cup of tea. Donate as much as you can for their albums and concerts. Donate whatever you can to your favorite DIY concert space. Tell your friends in the next town that they should check out the band you just discovered. Blog about them. Make your own zine. Build up your own concert space. Convince your local squat or social center to put on a gig of the next DIY band that is playing anywhere near you. What do you mean there is no local squat? Fucking squat it yourself then, what are you waiting for? Gather all your friends in town and go to the next DIY gig together. If your town has a problem with violent gangs, organize a defence group to protect the band and concert space. Make sandwiches for the band to take with them on the road. Give them a tape of your band. Offer to help them change the oil in their tour-bus. Offer them a clean bathroom and toilet to use. Offer them toilet paper. Basic things that most people take for granted are not at all for granted for DIY touring bands. The more you get involved and help out, the more awesome DIY bands you're going to be seeing. The easier you make it for the bands to tour, the better the show you're going to be getting that night. Tired and sick bands don't put on awesome shows. Well, ok, sometimes they do. But healthy bands that have had enough rest really go apeshit.

So, we walk away now and leave it up to you.. The future of DIY music and art in general is in your hands. Choose your side.

Thanks again to everyone who was there for us, we really appreciate it. Fuck you very god-damn much to all the squares who made our lives harder than they need to be, you suck so much it's beyond belief.

We give up. We quit. We won't be entertaining you again. We hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Full Wave Rectifier Laboratories has launched a new online store

Have a look at the new online store, launched by Full Wave Rectifier Laboratories. They've got some pretty awesome art stuff on there and of course, a record store. Soon, you will be able to get Zone of Alienation albums directly from there!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stolen Vehicle Alert

Make: Volkswagen
Model: LT 28 D
Type: Motor Caravan (PKW)
Color: Black (badly spray-painted) with White Plastic high-top roof.

Registration Number: B-AN 9514
Year of Manufacture: 1992
VIN (Chassis) Number: WV2ZZZ21ZNH016705
Engine Type: 2.4 Turbo-Diesel (VW D24T)

Stolen from Berlin, Germany, between April 28 and May 18. Her name is Betty. She was a band tour-bus, bringing entertainment to people all around Europe. Before that, she was used by an alternative education project to travel around Europe for workshops. Her current owner cannot possibly afford to replace her. We really would like to get her back, in one piece. If you stole her, but have now regretted it and feel guilty, please return her.

PLEASE NOTE: The van has been found, unfortunately destroyed. The wiring was ripped out in a very sad attempt to hot-wire her, the seats and windows were broken, even the steering wheel was broken. So, no need to tell us if you see her now. But if you have any information on who did this, we would be very happy to know.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How the music died on March 29...

I would like to begin by apologizing to all the people who came down to Thessaloniki on March 29, from all over the place, to see us and a couple of other cool bands, play some live music in Biologica Squat in the University Campus. The gig didn't happen. I'm really sorry you wasted your time, money and energy, trying to stay awake late at night, to come and hear some nice music, only to have to go back home without it.

We had no idea what was going on, and we're still not fully aware of what happened. We certainly don't understand why it happened.

The gig was supposed to involve three acts. Nataraya (from Thessaloniki, Greece), Zone of Alienation (from Great Hobonia) and Keira is You (from Poland). We gathered at the venue, set up our stuff, did our soundcheck, ate some food, and while we were hanging around there waiting to play, all of a sudden there were people running in every direction and a group of people wearing helmets, matching jackets and holding planks of wood and crowbars, suddenly started smashing up the venue. Some people from the venue set off fire extinguishers, some flares went off, and we all moved further away from the venue to not get ourselves involved in something we had no understanding of.

I won't go into details of who was who, because I don't even understand it myself. The moral of the story is that the music died. The gig didn't happen. Most of our equipment was full of fire-extinguisher powder and some of it was damaged. Keira is you came all the way from Poland, and had their drumkit smashed and a laptop stolen. I didn't see Nataraya after the event, so I've no idea what happened to them. Our guitar was thrown off the stage, our cymbals were thrown on the ground and a radio deck we used as part of our performance was damaged. We also had approximately 7 euros in loose coins stolen from our merch stand.

None of the bands got to play any music, and of course none of us even came close to covering our transportation costs. At least we ate something. Keira is you were so traumatized by the whole scene that they didn't even want to stay in Thessaloniki. We took off together for Great Hobonia as soon as the roads were clear again (cops had surrounded the campus when we first wanted to leave, and our tour vans are far from stealthy).

The person from Keira is you, whose laptop was stolen, is so upset that he declared he's never going on tour again. The rest of the band wanted to cancel their show at Larissa tonight, and they are thinking that most likely they're not coming back to Greece again. This is a pretty good insight into how music dies.

As for us, this was our last money that we spent on fuel to come to Thessaloniki to play. The strings on our guitar are on there for more than 5 years now. The tubes on the amplifier had been recently replaced, and as the amplifier was turned on during the chaos, they were damaged. The amplifier still plays, but it just won't sound as good. It crackles. As you guessed it, we're not going to change them. We can't afford it. One of our guitar cables was also damaged. It makes weird noises now. Guess what? We can't afford to replace that either. So next time you see us, when we sound like shit, don't wonder why. Next time you see us looking a bit weary, it's probably because we're hungry. We have no money. We had almost no money before trying to play this show, but we're trully fucked now.

We have spent the past decade of our lives touring, playing shows and making music, doing it the DIY way. We suffer all the hardships of the road, to come and entertain you. We get harassed by border guards and cops all along the way, we don't get enough sleep, we don't get enough to eat, we rarely have access to clean toilets or any kind of washing facilities and our clothes are disintegrating on us. We've driven for 28 hours straight in old beat up vans that barely worked. The money we make barely ever covers our transportation costs. There's nothing left. So when things go wrong, like this time, we're fucked. The 7 euros we made from our merchandise, that was subsequently stolen, would have meant about a week's worth of food. How many of you survive on 7 euros per week for food? Well, we do, quite often. But not now, because it's not even there anymore.

We spent most of the morning today trying to repair Keira is you's drumkit, so they can play in Larissa tonight. They probably will. But it won't sound as good as it would have, if their drumkit was intact. Guess what? They can't afford a new one! Do you know why? Because they're not making enough money for that. They won't be able to replace the stolen laptop either. So that means no internet access for them, which means no more tour updates, no more ability to book DIY shows through the internet, and no more ability to record or upload their music themselves. Their DIY wings have been clipped. One member has already declared that he's never going on tour again, and the rest of the band won't go to Greece again. So if you live in Greece and would like to see bands like them play live somewhere near you, forget it. It's not going to happen anymore.

Do you start feeling how the DIY music scene is dying?

Are you happy just going to mainstream shows and paying way over the top to see a band that's not even got half the passion that we have? Do you like the music you listen to being entirely controlled by evil capitalist corporations? If not, we've got a request for you, from both Zone of Alienation and Keira is you:

Send us an Acer E-Machine. Either the original one, stolen from the band, or any other one. We're not picky. We just need one to keep on doing what we're doing.

Send us a new or used Gretsch drum kit, or at least some new Remo drumheads. For details of sizes contact us.

Send us some new Ernie Ball regular slinky .10 guitar strings.

Send us some EL34 and 12AX7 tubes, matched pairs preferable.

Send us a Paiste 2002 Sound Edge hihat. 14" or 15", both acceptable.

Send us some cymbal stands.

Send us food, money, or both.

Give us fuel for our tour vans.


You either start taking the above requests seriously, or you'd better start making your own music. Don't expect us to last much longer under such circumstances.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The idea behind the Zone...

The main inspiration for the music of the Zone of Alienation came somewhere in the midwest of the US of A, in 2010, during a Jesus is Angry and Eyes tour. That tour started with me playing guitar and modular synth as a solo act. Thomas Tapia, drumming for Eyes on that tour, seemed really into the music, and I really liked his drumming style too, so I asked him to play with me the next day, improvising on the themes that I was playing on my own. We both really enjoyed it, and ended up playing together for the rest of the tour. On one gig, in Normal, IL, we even had Jorge Tapia, Eyes' guitarman, join us on stage as a second drummer, and all hell broke loose that night..

I really liked the idea of this instrumentation, a heavy, downtuned guitar, a modular synth and a drummer.. But it was moving further and further away from the usual Jesus is Angry experimental mood, so I decided I'd better find a new name for it. That tour eventually ended and our paths split, Thomas returned to Illinois and I returned to Sheffield, UK, from where I left almost immediately for a European tour.

Eventually, I ended up in Thessaloniki, Greece, where Stratos lives and we decided to jam a bit together.. Thus, the Zone was born.. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gig on March 29, 2012

Zone of Alienation are playing in Biologica Squat in Thessaloniki, GR, with Keira is You from Poland and Nataraya from Thessaloniki. Come down and see them, bring them presents, etc... There will be a stand with the Full-Wave Rectifier Laboratories DIY distro of rare albums and art by cool people from all around the world there, so bring a backpack..