LEAAVES “12 Worlds” (Strategic Tape Reserve)


Nate Wagner is no stranger to the contemplative. Over scores (scores, I say! Well, several, anyway) of releases, Wagner as Leaaves has dived headfirst into many an ambient deep end, whether using synthesizers or guitars or samples, and he has always emerged from his immersive excursions with enough material to drag us along with him, back into it all. He’s even made an off-the-wall Terry Crews–sampling left turn! That one was wild.


On 12 Worlds, though, Wagner is back to the ambient stuff, drawing on field recordings that came to him from some of his cohorts, and with them in hand, he spins hypnagogic dreamscapes that swirl and dissipate. There’s always a sense of place within the Leaaves oeuvre, and here it’s where you are, your present, yet overlaid with secret realities that aren’t often observed. Fortunately, via delicate playing that intertwines with the found sound, Wagner helps to remove the veil from these secret worlds and allows them to interact with the one you’re used to. It’s a neat trick.


So you can let it all fade into your headphones (you’ll need headphones) as the overlapped worlds of your particular place encroach and intermingle. The sounds flow like inhalations, exhalations, processes of connecting with the molecules around you. I bet you just never knew so many things were there at once, such incredible invisible oddities.