A look into Leaving Record’s future.
In a thriving Los Angeles electronic music community, Matthew David McQueen, better known as Matthewdavid, has been an integral figure for over a decade. Besides a storied experimental beat-maker of his own, having collaborated with the likes of Flying Lotus, Mndsgn, and Botany, he helms Leaving Records, a reliable outpost for beats of all kind originating from California. With over a decade in the game, Leaving is beginning a new era, and McQueen’s podcast serves as a marker between the old and the new.
McQueen, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, began his musical journey in Florida, where he attended school and began making trap on a pirated version of Fruity Loops. He moved to Los Angeles in 2006, where he was met by a bustling collective of artists rooted in hip-hop but straddling IDM, R&B, ambient, psychedelia, and jazz. He took up an internship at local label Plug Research, where he put out his first release, and began presenting it on Dublab. His music was different in that it sampled the New Age tapes he’d picked up in Florida, and news of it spread, importantly to Flying Lotus, who signed him up to Brainfeeder in 2011.
By the time Outmind came out, Leaving was already up and running. Beginning with work from Dak, the label has delivered music from Samiyam, Deantoni Parks, Laraaji, and the late great Ras G. McQueen himself also features semi-regularly. Alongside the likes of Brainfeeder, Stones Throw, and Alpha Pup Records, Leaving has cemented itself as a pillar in a web of cross-pollinating communities that can fade as quickly as they flourish. After years of interdependence on distributors, McQueen says the label is now fully independent, freeing him to dig even deeper into his swirling sonic universe.
Because of this, McQueen’s new XLR8R podcast is symbolic of Leaving’s new beginnings. He recorded it last month in his Los Angeles studio, pulling from a treasure trove of unreleased music on his computer. He intended it to cross genres, but instead it hones in on the sort of experimental jazz and innovative ambient that we can expect from the label moving forward. Consider it sample of Leaving’s calming future.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Parenting, gardening, being a first-time dog caretaker, mixing, mastering, curating Leaving, making music, drinking coffee, and micro-dosing.
02. How have you been managing in lockdown?
We have been able to manage. I’m feeling lucky, and I count my blessings everyday. When lockdown hit, I put all my extra efforts into keeping the label and the surrounding community of artists sustained and thriving as much as I possibly could while still being present for my family and my own health.
03. What music have you been listening to?
I have been creating experimental textures that have been the most therapeutic of any sounds I’ve been able to generate lately. There’s also been some modular techno and house from Baltimore modular producer Colloboh, and lots of Outkast. And lo-fi footwork from AshtreJinkins. I’m always listening to Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes, plus the forthcoming Green-House album, Music for Living Spaces, coming this spring. Plus the moody experimental ambient jazz of Celia Hollander, and MATTIE from Dallas, Texas, produced by Black Taffy, is a force.
04. You said to me that you’re entering a “whole new era” for Leaving Records. Can you explain what you mean by this?
For the last eight years, Leaving has been working with a label partner in a joint venture situation and now we’re independent. I was also personally working for various record labels and distributors on the side throughout this time, and before, but now I’m only working for my community, my family, and myself. Leaving Records is in full-focus, finally, again. Come join our all-genre Discord server to learn more and engage with our community.
05. Where and when did you record this mix?
At home over the last few days in February. Last September my family and I moved into a new home, an actual home. For the first time I have a real home-studio in Los Angeles, and a home office, so now I can make mixes for XLR8R. And work in deep concentration.
06. What can the listener expect?
I was toying with the all-genre approach, but within that spectrum what happened here is a focus on experimental jazz and experimental environmental ambient. Except for the Celia Hollander single, all of this music is unreleased. I have a vault, and I’m lucky to be working with a diverse array of visionaries in my community who share music with me each day.
07. What’s on your agenda for 2021?
More evolution, more progression, and more inclusion. I’m reinventing and redefining what a record label is and could be in the future, and also now in 2021. I’m also realizing a bigger picture of Leaving as a trusted curator and facilitator of an important, experimental all-genre musical community. Also, for what it’s worth, Web3 and blockchain technology as it pertains to the future of ownership.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes, Matthewdavid “Live at Deep End Club” (Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar album release show 2018) (Unreleased)
02. Matthewdavid “Zither Diner” (Unreleased)
03. Celia Hollander “5:59 PM” (Leaving Records)
04. J Foerster & N Kramer “The Fountain” + Sam Gendel & Matthewdavid “Saxofone & Norns Improvisation” (Unreleased)
05. Matthewdavid & EMV “Super Harvest Mycelium Moon” (Unreleased)
06. Matthewdavid “La Tierra De La Culebra” (Unreleased)
07. Omari Jazz “Light Leak” (Unreleased)
08. Droopy Eye “Lullabiz” (Unreleased)
09. Asa Tone “New Forms” (Excerpt) (Unreleased)
10. Matthewdavid “Norncelium” (Unreleased)
11. Yialmelic Frequencies “The Giantess” (Unreleased)
12. Andrew CS “Valp” feat. flute by Matthewdavid (Unreleased)
13. Matthewdavid “Granular Cenote” with field recordings from John Rondono) (Unreleased)