Leaving Records, an imprint of L.A. hip-hop heavyweight label Stones Throw, is a mostly cassette (and occasionally vinyl) operation curated under the inspired vision of boss Matthew McQueen. McQueen, aka Matthewdavid, is a spiritual seeker whose own musical output ranges from burbling new age to viscous, unearthly hip-hop. That extraterrestrial sensibility forms the basic parameters of Leaving's aesthetic, encompassing releases such as Guy Blakeslee's spacious guitar odyssey The Middle Sister and Benedek's breezy electro-funk EP Coolin'. McQueen has a particular passion for the analog spirituality of old new-age tapes, and has even commissioned a “Modern New Age” tape series featuring select local artists while continuing to reissue old and largely forgotten tapes by the legendary Laraaji and the totally obscure SunPath. McQueen's label does what a great underground label should: It delivers a wide-ranging, adventurous output while hanging on to a defined aesthetic — one focused on elevating the consciousness while keeping its feet firmly planted in the cassette deck.
Leaving Records; Credit: Theo Jemison