Bad news! Pitchfork pulled the plug today on its baby brother site Altered Zones after just 16 months. The site compiled submissions of from 14 different blogs, and was known for publishing the fringe stuff you don't always see on Pitchfork: hypnagogic pop, noise, avant garde, etc. While the site got a lot of shit for essentially just taking the efforts of influential bloggers and putting a Pitchfork stamp on them, the writing was often exceptional, and the content stands as a singular document of the last 16 months of experimental music.

So what will happen to all the bloggers affected? Most of them will continue to operate their own websites and labels, but it's really anyone's guess whether or not they'll survive their sudden loss of audience. There is at least one thing we can look forward to though: the eventual launch of AZ editors Ric Leichtung and Emilie Friedlander's new music and culture website Ad Hoc.

Click on the jump to view AZ's final sign-off.

Dear friends,

Today, the road comes to an end. We are saying goodbye.

Altered Zones was launched in July 2010 with the mission of highlighting small-scale DIY music from all over the world, and we couldn't be more proud of the work we've done together during this past year and a half. We've helped new artists on the fringes of experimental music find likeminded fans, we've thrown a series of amazing events, and most importantly, we've built a community of devoted listeners seeking new and relatable voices outside the sphere of popular independent music.

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.

We don't view Altered Zones closing as an end in itself, but rather the end of one chapter and the opening of another. AZ editors Ric Leichtung and Emilie Friedlander will contribute to Pitchfork, and will launch a new project together called Ad Hoc in 2012. In the meantime, Altered Zones will be signing off tomorrow and Friday with our favorite quotes, songs you might've missed, and albums of 2011.

Thanks to everyone who counted themselves as a loyal reader of this site— you are who we built this for. Thanks to everyone who contributed— it could not have existed without you! And thanks to Pitchfork for creating and supporting this site since its inception, and for making it all possible in the first place. Happy 2012. We'll see you all again very soon…

Altered Zones