Thursday, 17 October 2013


Moving on from the sparkling, busy ambience of Texan producer Botany's 'Simple Creatures' featuring the vocals of RYAT, uploaded earlier this month, we arrive at the mellow yet mean sounds of his latest offering, 'Quatic'. Both songs come from an album due for release on 28th October called Lava Diviner: Truestory, a "loosely" conceptual offering that tells the musical story of a cult praying for a volcano to erupt - a vision of smart hip hop that mixes intricate beats and super-atmospheric sounds.

What we have in 'Quatic' is a lot of watery sounds, or perhaps liquid would be a better description; it isn't A-quatic after all. Instead here are images conjured of an subterranean world never seen but for a select few - a world of scorching magma bubbling, of unintelligible spirits inhabiting the very molten rocks themselves. Sumptuous sounds illustrate this hidden world, quietly cradling its liquid lava flow, as sluggish as it is brimming with dangerous power. Atmospheric.

The noises that go into creating such an image are legion. Blooping synth hides in the background like a constant measure, zither-like sounds strum, scratched-glass sounds stab the air, chopped vocal samples whisper gently, synth vox joins the pattern of the bloops, blobs of bass squelch their way along, and ambient air disturbances sound like distant roars or shrieks of the roots - the heart - of the volcano itself.

That's not to mention the beat. A boom bapping sensation, as faltering as it is strong. Dustings of hi-hats skiffle rapidly along with a dull shuffle that sounds as real and raw as a dented, well-used hi-hat should. The snare rip-slaps to the solid bounce of the kick. As traditional a hip hop beat as you could imagine, with a less than traditional approach to the surroundings and cargo of that beat. Spencer Stevenson, the real name of Botany, is onto a winner with this kinda sound.

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