Botany - Deepak Verbera
‰Û?Û_alternatingly danceable and meditative psychedelia‰Û_carefully constructed and satisfying‰Û_‰ Pitchfork
Third LP by Austin‰۪s Spencer Stephenson aka BOTANY, bends the beat-driven path carved by the composer‰۪s å_first two records into meterless cosmic territory, juxtaposing free jazz arrhythmia with cathedral-å_lling harmony, ringing on the temple walls with soaring grandeur. A psych-inflected scrapbook of atmospheres with tremendous sonic and emotional breadth.. In essence Deepak Verbera is a soundscape record created through methods usually found in hip-hop; vinyl samples, looped vocal phrases, pulsing bass, and warm synths all shimmer with kosmische-indebted splendor, like Popol Vuh with MPCs and a stack of secondhand records. ‰ÛÏWhose Ghost‰ opens the album, challenging the listener to endure an Albert Ayler-style clamour of argumentative drums and brass. Then follows the library-music-inspired ‰ÛÏHas Appeared‰ prior to the ascendant, ‰ÛÏOry (Joyous Toil)‰. Its incense laden sister song ‰ÛÏBurning From the Edges Inward‰ plays like a mini-album unto itself, seamlessly shifting moods with each passage as rolling waves of acoustic piano diffuse into smoked-out guitar drones and witch-like choirs. Side A ends with ‰ÛÏOuter Verberum,‰ a guitar-heavy track which can only be described as ‰ÛÏfree-psych‰. Tracks like ‰ÛÏGleaning Gleaming‰ are built out of micro-snippets of soul records that cascade over themselves to become something wholly incomparable to their source.