In the second of our series of articles on The Leaf Label, to celebrate twenty diverse and beautiful years of releasing music, we asked some of their artists to name their favourite Leaf Label releases.


"Jun Ray Song Chang" - Asa-Chang & Junray

Mariam Wallentin – Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Created from a lot of our favourite things; percussion mixed with Japanese chanting and talking/singing, tablas mixed with strange electronic sounds, wind instruments, flutes and string samples. Built on short songs under 3 minutes or longer than 6. Sometimes groovy with rhythm-patterns (like Goo-Gung-Gung) and sometimes more atmospheric and strange (like the weather-start of Nigatsu)we find this album very exciting and playful, just as a great album should be like. A timeless experimental piece released 13 years ago. (for what we understand it consists of two album first released in Japan and then made into one when Leaf released it in 2002). The song Hana is a true classic, still getting played every time we host a party and were getting to the last hour of cleaning up after it.


"The Milk of Human Kindness" - Caribou

Dan Leavers – The Comet is Coming

It's a detailed psychedelic wonderland, full of playful melodies and colourful moments. It has an erratic chaotic energy, tempered with a relaxed, motorik, kraut rock feel; drums that are at once epic but small; the record sounds simultaneously from the past and from the future. Stylistically produced, it's not bound by genre, flowing freely from psych, kraut rock, electronica, folk and hip hop - like the killer Head West sample on 'lord leopard'. Vocals are down played and gentle giving the album a sunshine west coast 60s vibe. The 29 second 'Hands First' is pure genius, bookended with a sweet chorus of voices containing within a most furious celebration of drums and flanger effects, these small moments create a captivating journey for you to flow through.


"Until Silence" - Roll The Dice

Julia Kent

It's hard to pick just one favourite record from Leaf's deep catalogue, but I'm going with Roll the Dice's "Until Silence," a monumental and beautiful work that powerfully balances electronic and organic, relentlessness and fragility, sound and silence.


"Battle and Victory" - Nancy Elizabeth

Leafcutter John – Polar Bear

This record is really precious. I can't quite put my finger on how she manages to conjure up something so subtle while retaining a totally no-nonsense edge. It's moving and funny, epic, intimate, and totally without bullshit!


"The Snake" - Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Peder & Malcolm – Roll The Dice

An absolute powerhouse of a duo, the combination of the voice and drums make for a primordial force in this minimalistic setting. Also lethal live performers be it as W&P or in the myriad of other groups and projects they happen to be involved with at the moment.


"Jun Ray Song Chang" - Asa-Chang & Junray

Matthew Bourne

One stand-out favourite from Leaf’s catalogue is Asa-Chang & Junray. I was introduced to its opening track, Hana, at the 2012 Leeds International Film Festival, where a number of The Leaf Label's music videos were screened at The Hyde Park Picture House. I love its eccentric beauty, and the careful ordering of the tracks; all of which are totally unique: check out Hana, Goo-Gung-Gung, and Kutsu #2, for a sample of just a few gems from Asa-Chang’s diverse universe. It’s also great to see that it was chosen for the Leaf 20 boxed set, too!"


"Everyone Alive Wants Answers" - Colleen

Rasmus Stolberg– Efterklang/Liima

When we started talking with The Leaf Label about collaborating in 2004 Tony send over a stack of their releases. Everyone Alive Wants Answers the debut album by Colleen was one of them and it instantly became a favourite of mine. I still listen to it here more than 10 years after. The qualities of this music are timeless to me and in a way I think you can say that about many of The Leaf Label releases. Tony has a very special ear. An ear that isn’t tuned in to trends or hypes. The discography of The Leaf Label is very diverse, but to me there is a direction and a quality in all of it that makes sense to me. I am not able to explain why it makes sense and maybe neither is Tony. I guess that's the whole point. 



Here are all the features in this series:

The Best album art on the Leaf Label

Leaf Artists pick their favourite Leaf albums

Discussing the Leaf 20 box set with label founder Tony Morley

Playlist: A Leaf history of time.

You can find out more about The Leaf Label's anniversary releases by clicking here.