Growing up outside Fort Worth, Texas (the birthplace of Ornette Coleman), Stephenson spun Botany out of a youth full of music handed down from a drum-n-bass-producing older brother and a guitarist father-- borrowing eects pedals and drum machines from both, before his rst experiments with recording software at age fteen. A drummer foremost, Stephenson went on to study Jazz drumming, piano, and guitar in college before dropping out, primarily focusing on sample-based music all the while. He concedes, “I spent most of my time there opening the top of the piano to pluck the strings with my ngers, or scraping vibraphone bells with a cello bow, really anything I could nd to create interesting sounds that were kind of atypical to me at the time.”
Deepak Verbera, the third LP by Austin’s Spencer Stephenson aka BOTANY, bends the beat-driven path carved by the composer’s rst two records into meterless cosmic territory, juxtaposing free jazz arrhythmia with cathedral-lling harmony, ringing o the temple walls with soaring grandeur. The billowing textures that loomed behind his previous output break unabashedly into the foreground, shedding the beats that once stenciled them in. What arises in the absence of discernible rhythm is a psych-inflected scrapbook of atmospheres with tremendous sonic and emotional breadth.
He has now teamed up with FACT Magazine to premiere his new album Deepak Verbera.