Botany: Feeling Today
Western Vinyl

On his debut Botany release, the Feeling Today EP, Spencer Stephenson gives us a taste of what we can expect from his forthcoming full-length. A tad reminiscent of the 2008 Dreamsploitation collection Soft Focus Sound of Today, Feeling Today sounds as if the young (twenty-two) Texan sound-sculptor holed up in his bedroom armed with a mini-library of decades-old vinyl and the requisite gear to first plunder and then reshape it into five concise instrumentals of transcendental wonderment. The sound here is a heady breed of kaleidoscopic pop that sounds like it's been stitched together from all manner of recycled materials, samples, and lo-fi musical sources. Faint traces of vinyl crackle give the material a bit of a crate-digging vibe, with propulsion provided by clip-hop beats and shimmering percussion touches. Bells and percussive rumble soak the title track in psychedelic splendour before a willowy swirl of female vocals takes the already trippy sound to an even further level. “Waterparker” sweetens bouyant, stutterfunk rhythms with percussive jangle and angelic vocal riffs, while “Benefactress” turns the lights down low for a brief spell of sparkling serenity and “Agave” takes us out with loping, bass-heavy head-nod. Add it up and you've got eighteen minutes of blissed-out hip-pop that bodes well for the Botany full-length.

September 2011