Leaving has never been a traditional label. It was born humble in a Highland Park garage to Matthewdavid and partner/visual director Jesselisa Moretti. They gave it their spare time, and the imprint grew starting with a late 2009 tape from local Dilla-phile Dak, who Matthewdavid discovered while engineering a web radio session for his day job with Dublab. The pair silk-screened slipcases by hand and made enough change to fund the next project. To this day, Leaving is still curated by gut, not by genre, and their family of contributors has grown to include folks as physically and stylistically far-flung as U.K. dance usurper the Cyclist, Moscow beat beast Lapti, Baltimore New Ageist Semya, Philly producer Knx, and Belgian collagist Ssaliva.
Naturally, Dual Form reflects the brightly burning light guiding Leaving’s doings: an elevated level of experimentation combined with the twinning beliefs that art is sacred and music is magic. In a way, avant chanteuse Julia Holter provides this set’s mantra with her haunting cover of Arthur Russell’s “You and Me Both” when she sings, “Want to keep on doing.” To that end, Anticon founder Odd Nosdam delivers the booming but elegiac “Sisters,” Postal Service electrician Dntel gets playful with “Windy Windy,” psychedelic blueser Sun Araw discovers transcendence for “Right Off,” and Serengeti teams with Matthewdavid for the far-out rap of “Into the Night.”
Dual Form could’ve easily been a retrospective of Leaving Records’ “greatest hits,” but that’d be a disingenuous introduction to a label that’s always looking forward. All of the tracks on the album are new, original recordings. If the names gathered here look unfamiliar, it’d be a good time to start studying them. Stones Throw will begin distributing select Leaving releases, starting with The Cyclist’s debut album in early 2013. We do believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The Cyclist – Visions
Davis – Into The Night
dak – Lions Dream
Oscar McClure – Labelle Gross
Julia Holter – You & Me Both (Live Arthur Russell Tribute)
Odd Nosdam – Sisters (Edit)
Sun Araw – Right Off
Dem Hunger – Glue Suit
Run Dmt – Bardo States Dream Walker Version
Trance Farmers – Purple Hay
yuk. – Atimo