Dimming Awe, The Light is Raw [LP; Western Vinyl]

I recall the fervor of DJ Midnight on a 90’s landscape unprepared for such a shock to genre systemics. I remember the vigor of the first RJD2 mix-up, where I felt fusion was being slowly transformed from acid jazz theory into 21st Century practice. So goes the work of Spencer Stephenson AKA Botany, who has long teased the prowess of his talents, but Dimming Awe, The Light of Raw is the mountaintop; that moment which cauterizes the musical aneurysm. A rich tapestry of hip-hop, pop and psychedelia, it’s a timely release that bridges mainstream tropes with heady experimentation. What all of Stephenson’s exploration amounts to is a drone record that happens to borrow from various genres to warp the fragility of subtlety by packing it up with density. Silence is manufactured just to be interrupted. Beats are created just to fall apart. Found sounds are synthesized to become rhythms. Everything exists as it shouldn’t, and somehow it explodes. The only downfall is accessibility, because this just isn’t the same experience digitally. With vinyl, the format is rarely complimentary to the sound; it’s often become a collector’s vessel. This is not such a case, because the rotation of the turntable is just another element of the world of Dimming Awe, The Light is Raw. It all adds up into a truly unique experience, and in a world where nouns and adjectives are thrown about without meaning (c’mon, too much shit is labeled “amazing” these days). That lord-on-high word you reserve for the very best of life, liberally sprinkle it all over Stephenson here. That only 100 copies of this is among us (and was quickly snatched up) is a travesty. This is the real deal Holyfield, and until a second pressing pops up, you’re going to have to search high and low. Pay whatever price for this.

Links: Western Vinyl


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

Most Read