ARTIST: Stupid Cosmonaut
RELEASE: Astral Transmissions
RELEASE DATE: 30 September 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Hot on the heels of May’s staggering debut release, the blistering ‘Abstract Concepts’ by UK based experimental psych outfit ‘Stupid Cosmonaut’, comes another impressive trip into the sonic unknown. ‘Astral Transmissions’ is a dark thrill ride into the sonic subconscious of a band who have no off switch when it comes to experimenting with frequency bending and sound manipulation to collectively create astonishing soundscapes that will both test your psyche and immerse you head long into a sonic world where you will experience something very few artists in this genre can do. The band are made up of Sam Read, Steven McNamara, Andy Hunt and Matthew Hattersley who collectively experiment with electronic, ambient and psychedelic sounds to stunning effect. ‘Astral Transmissions’ is available to buy/download digitally right now from stupidcosmonaut.bandcamp.com with pre-orders available for the limited edition cassette version, penned in for release on the 30th September available too.
With an air of trepidation we push off into the unknown and float on a dark sea of swirling fuzzy drones and sequenced electronics coupled with hazy sampled vocalisations & pulsing tones as ‘AT1: Fermium’ builds momentum and unleashes a monolithic assault on the senses. It builds in intensity as layer after layer of repetitious instrumentation is added to the sonic whirlwind, each corner turned on this massive track introducing the listener to some new glitch, whirr or bleep, and all the while accompanied by that immense vocal sample that seems to hang in sonic suspension just out of earshot. ‘AT1: Fermium’ is ten minutes plus of musical schooling by one of the most interesting bands on the underground scene today. Up next, ‘AT2: Ununtrium’ drags itself into the open with a whirling drone and another vocal sample, barely audible under the pulsating drone and its accompanying fuzz. Without doing very much ‘Stupid Cosmonaut’ instrumentally instil intensity into the piece before unleashing a screaming sonic blast reminiscent to the soundtracks of some of the best science fiction movies of my youth. ‘AT2: Ununtrium’ is deeply cinematic and incredibly experimental as it deftly brings its listeners on a mind expanding sonic exercise.
‘AT3: Hassium’ is a testing beast. Coming in at sixteen minutes plus, this is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. It pulses and ripples astonishing sounds into the reverberating ether as it builds in intensity and drags you with it on a fast paced cloud of analogue instrumentation, sparse percussion and experimental abandonment. A triumph of monumental proportions and a recommendation from me. You simply must listen to this track via headphones to experience the whole sonic spectrum for yourselves. The albums penultimate track ‘AT4: Curium’ conjures up images of the magnificent space race between the US and USSR. The sampled countdown runs cautiously as the track builds and those impressive synth swells force magnificent atmosphere into the piece before we’re once again treated to a beautifully constructed slice of ambient psychedelia. The shortest track on the album coming in at four minutes plus, ‘AT4: Curium’ is a welcome reprise with its serine instrumentation, whirring bleeps and calming atmospheric effects.
The albums closing piece, the brilliantly atmospheric ‘AT5: Dubnium’, crawls into earshot on a droning dub synth line thats drenched in glorious reverb. Sampled vocalisations again accompany the piece and cascading piano lines add to the intensity before the sequenced percussion enters the fray (which I have to say ‘ve missed immensely on the previous tracks) and the pace quickens. ‘Stupid Cosmonaut’ unleash their psych/dub leanings as swirling drones & break beat percussion take over and gently massage the senses before we’re lured into a false disease of serine security. ‘AT5: Dubnium’ has a wonderful sting in its tail as the instrumentation merges into one big swirling sonic maelstrom, leading us into its tremulous finale. A wonderful ending to a magnificent album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.