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Under the Botany moniker, Spencer Stephenson creates rich psychological and emotional experiences through audio. His music is a thoughtful attempt to convey the non-verbal through his particular mental prism, where sounds have potent symbolism in ways that are all but forgotten in the hermetic modern world. On Dimming Awe, the Light is Raw, the 28-year-old producer and composer continues dissolving the borders between his disparate-yet-beloved psych, hip hop, and ambient influences.
Album standout "Au Revoir," is a shimmering piece of sampler-psychedelia that bolsters verses by rapper Milo, and gracefully leads into the drum-less hum and crackle of "Birthjays." Matthewdavid – the high-priest of ambient bass himself – lends a rare vocal feature to the uplifting burner "Glow-up" while the electro-inspired "Bad CGI" stitches Bambaataa chants and sci-flutters to a shamanic pulse, then morphs into a late-night opiated channel-surng montage, and the seams rarely appear.
Unlike his previous album Lava Diviner, which peaked and valley-ed through a narrative arc, Dimming Awe focuses on the artist's ever-unfolding, present state of mind. As a former jazz student, spiritual/free jazz philosophy regarding what he calls "emergent" music has increasingly become a guiding light when he creates. "This album is a document of what I do, not a statement in any explicit way," he says. "I feel like I'm moving closer to a jazz underpinning that I've always felt, philosophically more than aesthetically...making music feels more like exhaling as I grow older.