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Cool New Age Music

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LA Weekly has an interview with Matthew McQueen – a.k.a. Matthewdavid – about the Modern New Age series from Leaving Records. It paints a fascinating portrait of an up-and-coming artist, who might redefine our genre. It will take some time though…

It goes like this:

“Modern New Age is the newest Leaving passion project for Matthewdavid, whose real name is Matthew McQueen. The label itself is a glorious amalgam of McQueen passion projects, from solo guitarists to postmodern pop singers. Leaving’s latest releases include Benedik’s Coolin’ EP, a simmering synth-funk stew, and Flutes, Echoes, It’s All Happening! by DJ/producer Carlos Niño, a soulful, psychedelic set featuring the likes of Kamasi Washington and Madlib.

Modern New Age is another tangent, but a tangent with a concrete goal: to revive and reinvigorate new age music, a genre cursed by years of overexposure and poor quality control.

“I’m trying to innovate and redefine now for this generation of open-minded young people what new age is,” McQueen says. “And it’s not scary. It’s something cool, and it’s something that can unite us as a human race.”

We’re sitting in McQueen’s sunny living room, where he has a desk facing the window flanked by a rack of synthesizers. There are shelves and shelves of records; a gong waits at the ready by one of the bedroom doors. His Mount Washington house is invisible from the street — behind a narrow gate, up three flights of stairs, and then up again, through his Secret Garden–like front yard. It seems to float above the city, a little cloud sanctuary.

“New age now is much different than in the ’80s or even in the ’90s,” he says, leaning back in his chair. “Our parents’ perception of new age doesn’t have to be our perception of it. It doesn’t have to be Windham Hill cheesy elevator music or whatever you think it is. It can be really enjoyable, psychedelic electronic music.”

Read the complete interview here.