Tue, 14 Feb|
With dark synth sounds at the fore, a pop sensibility commands the structure or her work, while authenticity and vulnerability subsume the core
Time & Location
14 Feb, 19:30
Southampton, Brunswick Square, Southampton SO14 3AR, UK
About The Event
With special guests Capital X
Zanias is the sometimes solo and often collaborative project of Alison Lewis, an Australian-born multidisciplinary artist with a background in archaeology and keen interests in anthropology, psychology, neuroscience and entheogenic exploration. In 2011, while studying in London, she crossed paths with Ryan Ambridge while playing a minimal synth DJ set at a bar in Camden, and darkwave history was made with the formation of Linea Aspera. After the project’s swift ascent into underground recognition, largely due to the captivating quality of Alison’s voice and carefully crafted emotive lyrics, it went on indefinite hiatus in 2013, and she then teamed up with Sid Lamar of Schwefelgelb to form Keluar. It was in this collaboration that a fierce DIY spirit was forged, as the band booked all their own tours, made all their own videos and even created their own custom merch by hand. This became a template for all of Alison’s
future endeavors: controlling all facets of creativity with total authenticity.
After relocating to Berlin, she co-founded the Fleisch collective with new friends & artists Phase Fatale, Agency, Halv Drøm, LGHTWGHT and Primary. Over the next six years they hosted a basement breeding ground for what would become the world standard of the Electronic Body Music revival, and eventually founded the Fleisch record label that went on to release some of EBMs most progressive and distinctive artists: Forces, Kontravoid, Imperial
Black Unit, Reka and Fractions.
It was in 2014, following psychedelic-induced revelations of the fragility of existence,
that Alison committed to music full-time and made the decision to take control of her creative
output through a single entity, and so Zanias was born. Her debut EP, ‘To the Core’ (Noiztank,
2016), was co-produced with her mentor and close friend Alex Akers of Forces, and featured
what would become core components of Zanias’s sound: body music percussion, multi-layered
ethereal vocals and a heavily atmospheric approach to production and performance.
‘To the Core’ was followed by a full-length album, ‘Into the All’, (2018, Candela Rising)
through which Zanias and Alex treaded further into the tropical rainforests of Zanias’s
upbringing and spilled forth a parable for humanity’s spiritual evolution (a philosophical
healing process for the trauma of learning some heavy things too soon) in an ethnic fusion of
ethereal body music and darkwave.
Between her own releases Zanias flowed with a steady current of collaborations,
including an ongoing association with Black Rain which involved appearances on their releases
on Blackest Ever Black as well as joining the band on stage at Bozar Electronic Arts Festival in
Brussels for a largely improvised set. Her voice, awash with reverb, proved an effective
addition to euphoric moments in the darker realms of techno, and so it resonated frequently
through the aural pillars of 4/4 kick drums via the works of techno heavweights Dax J, Kobosil,
Ancient Methods, I Hate Models and Nur Jaber. In April 2019 her techno affiliation culminated
in the showcasing of her live set at Berghain’s Klubnacht, alongside Regis and a cohort of
Monnom Black artists, whom she also joined on the label’s compilation releases in 2018 and
In 2020 she self-released two entirely self-produced and engineered EPs, ‘Extinction’
(Fleisch Records, 2020) and ‘Harmaline’ (Rune & Ruin, 2020), just as the world as we knew it
came to an end. ‘Extinction’ in particular had come at a serendipitous time: a body music
lament of climate anxiety completed at her family home in Queensland during the deadly 2019
bushfire season. With all tours cancelled by a virus seemingly unleashed by environmental
degradation, and despair for the future mounting, Zanias threw herself into production once
again and emerged from the first pandemic lockdown with a second album, titled ‘Unearthed’
and released on Fleisch Records in 2021, along with a set of self-produced music videos.
Zanias’s work has always been defined by a search for higher meaning, an exploration
into the modality of human feelings and how these complex experiences of consciousness play
into our evolutionary story as a species. Writing and performing through sound is her way of
simultaneously investigating her psychological interests and ultimately basking in awe of
music’s intrinsic connectivity. By fusing our emotions with vibrations we can share deeper
realms of our experience than we even can through language – another vehicle for connection
that she employs with acuity, through lyrics that are deftly woven for flow and imbued with
multiplicities of meaning.
Her next steps involve the music production and visual talents of Toni Quiroga, aka Donna Haringwey, with whom she has been working on her third full-length release. This new work is the truest expression of Alison’s musical spirit thus far, detached from external influence and galvanized by a deeper passion for sound design. Zanias remains an ever-evolving expression of vulnerable and authentic emotional catharsis, unbound by any predetermined desire to fit into any particular place. As with all her work from 2020 onwards, this new album shall be self-released.
+ Capital X
Capital X’s hard electronics weave barbed vocal hooks and grinding leads through twisting bass and punchy drum loops, delivering an ambitious straight-from-the-shoulder eclectic collection for dark dancefloors everywhere. Blending inspirations from their range of collaborations with Maethelvin (Valerie Collective), Chikinki, Dame Bonnet and The Wildhearts, and live shows with Atari Teenage Riot, Curses and Gary Numan, tracks are accompanied by Capital X’s strong and bold imagery throughout their artwork, merch, video and strobe-laden heavy-hitting live output.
+£0.33 service fee
+£0.33 service fee