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Review of Salvia single and 'Abstract Concepts' album by Stupid Cosmonaut

Stupid Cosmonaut are a 3 piece ambient / pysch band from Manchester, England comprising of Sam Read, Mark Hawnt and Steve McNamara. They all take an equal share in producing and writing the music using mostly hardware synths, guitars, bass and samples.
Stupid Cosmonaut only formed earlier this year but they have been very busy, producing a video for their first single Salvia which was released in March. It’s a great debut single, a slow evolving song opening with keys and distorted guitar drone which creates a great contrast. There’s a really good guitar solo and use of a recorded sample which adds a great element. The video suits the song really well, it’s hypnotic and a bit trippy at times.


Hot on the heels of Salvia is their debut album, Abstract Concepts released on 23rd May as a cassette and digital download. It’s a brilliant debut album, I really like the constrast between the ambient and psych feel at times and the harsher elements. Recorded samples are also used excellently, including Steven Hawking quotes and a recording about Nikola Tesla. The album explores themes such as travelling from Earth to ensure survival and the works of Einstein and Nikola Tesla and gets the balance of the recordings in the songs spot on, the contrast between these and the use of drones, sparse rhythms and background synths makes the album hypnotic listening.
Long Term Survival,
There’s a great intensity to this song which opens with an uptempo opening riff and fast drumming. There’s a great edge of tension which releases and builds really well creating an urgency at times. A great opening track which sets the scene for the rest of the album.
This song has an ominous feel to the opening, background distortion / noise creates a great contrast against the more ambient string sounds. The bass provides a great momentum and the use of the recording really adds to the feel of the song.
Tesla is Not Dead
This song has a great recording about Nikola Tesla backed by percussive rhythm and bass. I really like the variation and subtle use at times of percussive rhythms, synths, bass and background sounds which complement the recording really well and create a great ambience.
Abstract Concepts
This song has an ominous sounding opening riff, there’s a great contrast against the sample. The song evolves with sparse percussive rhythm and use of delay which works really well and gives a great psych feel, I really like how the song combines and contrasts this with elements of electronica and ambience.
Space Music
There’s a great ambience and edge of tension from the keys and drone against the recording from space, a great evolution of the song which retains the contrast between an ambient and drone sound.
A Complete Theory of Everything
A brilliant closing track, the guitar playing is excellent and the emerging background sounds are subtle which creates a really chilled and contemplative vibe.
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