Tag Archives: Matthewdavid

The New Age Spirituality of Producer Carlos Niño

Carlos Nino

Carlos Niño both attracts and exudes positivity. He can convince hardened skeptics to try communicating with the dead—a practice for which he claims to have a unique skill. As a musician, Niño’s work is graceful, promoting love and peace throughout the world. His New Age albums with LEAVING Records founder Matthewdavid and spiritual luminary Laraaji has given his solo offerings a cosmic bent, blending meditative jazz with pensive ambient movements and orchestral flourishes.

Niño’s latest album isn’t exactly a solo project. He’s created a group called Carlos Niño & Friends—a rotating cast that helps bring his creative vision to light. Going Home, Niño’s latest “& Friends” release, is an ode to the afterlife, a six-song odyssey that depicts what the spirit endures when the body expires.

“I think that the ‘& Friends’ concept is really about me doing whatever I want, with whoever I want. Just really freeing it up,” Niño says.

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Hi Bias: Notable Cassette Releases on Bandcamp, September 2017

Hi Bias

Nicole Ginelli

Welcome to Hi Bias, a monthly column highlighting recent cassette releases on Bandcamp, and exploring the ideas behind them with the artists who made them. Rather than making sweeping generalizations about the “cassette comeback,” we prefer here simply to cover releases that may escape others’ radar due to their limited, cassette-focused availability.

Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh, Oreing [Fort Evil Fruit]

The music on viola player Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh’s first solo work, Oreing, is constantly ambitious. As she mines her instrument for new sounds, her emphatic songs swing from subtlety to repetition to fiery noise. Each of the tape’s four pieces is a journey through intense peaks and calm valleys, seeming to hint at an unspoken narrative. So, what exactly is Oreing about?

“I don’t think that the music is about anything,” Oireachtaigh insists via email from her home in Glasgow, Scotland. “I don’t think of anything specifically when I’m playing this music—[it’s] more that the notes come first and then an emotional reaction or feeling will follow, as opposed to basing a piece off a particular emotion. I like to think of them as pretty abstract and open-ended, though someone listening might think the total opposite about them.”

Oireachtaigh built the songs on Oreing from what she describes as “small fragments that I chanced upon just from playing around.” After recording those bits, she let them sit a while, then improvised on the original ideas. She performed the resulting pieces a few times live before committing them to tape, which only took a few hours including mixing. That no-frills process created music that feels considered and developed, but also retains the rush of her original spontaneity.

It also created lengthy pieces, all hovering in the 10-minute range and beyond, but they seem to go by fast. “I was a bit surprised each time I finished a take and saw how long each one was!” Oireachtaigh says. “I always lose track of time when I’m playing these pieces. I feel now that the more I play them, the longer they have the potential to be, and I’m enjoying getting drawn into the possibility of extreme repetition and very gradual change when playing them live. That is something that I enjoy and admire so much in other musicians—the control and focus and assurance that it takes to shape an improvisation without giving it all away too soon. I’d really love to develop that ability.”

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Leaving Records is Dedicated to the Art of Curation

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In 2007, Matthew “Matthewdavid” McQueen was sitting in the studio of dublab radio during a Ras G show, when an artist named dak took over the session with an original beat set. McQueen, at the time an intern for both Plug Research and dublab, was blown away by the music he heard coming from the speakers. Dak’s unconventional sound, which blended glitchy syncopation with murky low-end production, got McQueen’s wheels spinning. As he listened, he began to realize that artists like dak were making music that was too experimental and adventurous to find a home at most record labels.

“Dak was a diamond in the rough,” McQueen says. “It was clear that if I did gain his consent and permission [to sign him and release his album] that it would be a very strong, new sound, from a new artist, to help launch a new label.”

That moment in the dublab studio marked the beginning of Leaving Records, a label rooted in Los Angeles beat music and ambient, but which has grown to become a sanctuary for musical free-thinkers. Co-founded with visual artist Jesselisa Moretti, Leaving calls its ethos “all-genre,” which indicates the label’s openness to the possibilities of music, and its aim of knocking down genre walls so that all sounds are permitted. Leaving is a place for Ras G’s Afro-space age beats, the innovative percussion techniques of Deantoni Parks, Julia Holter’s art pop, Laraaji’s ambient zither meditations, and Knxwledge’s dusty soul breaks. The label has few hard rules, but one of them is that Matthewdavid doesn’t sign artists that he has not befriended first.

In that way, Leaving is an expression of both Matthewdavid’s expansive taste and his social circle. The label’s first release was technically Matthewdavid’s Disk Collection, but the catalogue began in earnest with dak’s standthis cassette—a format that, in 2009, was still thought to be archaic. After that initial dublab session, McQueen and dak quickly became close friends, hanging out at dublab and trading beat tapes. McQueen says that dak, like many artists he knows, “doesn’t let everyone in his head” which he associates with the mark of a genius.

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Sudan Archives Isn’t Your Average Violinist

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When Sudan Archives left Cincinnati, Ohio to follow her dreams, she traveled light. She brought just a few outfits, and her violin. The daughter of a preacher, the musician grew up attending church several times a week, which perhaps made her leap of faith towards the City of Angels a little easier. The decision was key for her professional and personal development—she knew her brand of experimental music was worth the risk.

“When I made the move to leave my parents’ house, it was my first time on an airplane. I really had to believe in myself because, I was doing all these things I’d never done before,” Archives says. “When will I ever get this opportunity again?”

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As $3.33, Celia Hollander Creates Art Without a Concept of Time

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In today’s music industry, where fans want new music right now, Celia Hollander has built her project $3.33 to last. “I think of music as art—not as a separate category from art in general,” she says. That thoughtfulness and careful attention to craft turns up throughout her work, as is her willingness to expand her music into different disciplines. For DRAFT, her 2014 release, she envisioned a full-length corresponding video. The result, directed by filmmaker Miko Revereza, is a gorgeous collage of monochrome patterns, textures, and shapes. It accompanies DRAFT remarkably well, and when asked about her role in the video, Hollander’s answer is short: “It was left to Miko entirely.”

The video accompanies LEAVING Records‘ reissue of DRAFT’s, three years after its original release. As with any reissue, the central question is, “Why now?” For Hollander, though, the timing is less important than bringing her music to a wider audience.

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