"With only a handful of releases to his credit, Texas native Spencer Stephenson has covered a vast, impressive array of musical ground with his work as Botany. Integrating live instrumentation and dusty samples, his compositional techniques are informed by hip-hop and beat-heavy electronic music, but they reference spiritual jazz, psychedelic folk, ambient, and numerous other styles. His work varies from more rhythmic, pulsating tracks to free-flowing washes of sound, but it's always conscious, uplifting, and organic. Originally from northern Texas, Stephenson started experimenting with music production as a teenager, inspired by Four Tet, Madlib, J Dilla, and others. He began sharing his music online in 2008, and his first EP, Feeling Today, was released by Austin-based Western Vinyl in 2010. A bit more poppy than some of his later releases, the recording featured vocalist Ashley Rathburn. Botany remixed artists such as Ryat and Cuushe and produced a track on Lushlife's 2012 album, Plateau Vision. After relocating to a farm outside Austin, Stephenson recorded his full-length debut, Lava Diviner (Truestory), which appeared in 2013. Dimming Awe, the Light Is Raw, the most hip-hop-oriented Botany release to date, appeared in 2015 as a limited LP; guests included rapper Milo and Leaving Records founder Matthewdavid. In 2016, Botany released Deepak Verbera, a surprising excursion into cosmic music and free jazz, channeling artists such as Alice Coltrane and Popol Vuh." - Paul Simpson, Allmusic
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