Ashtray Navigations New Years Update January 2014

Happy New Year, again!  The new year’s resolution is to update this blog more regularly.

Changes to full time unenjoyment and the faff of moving house meant last year was a bit of a quiet time for AshNav.  But we still managed to release 2 new albums, Cloud Come Cadaver and Spray.

Spray especially was quite enjoyed by some people in the know and got some honorable mentions in end of year lists here and here and in this lovely review by the ever-wonderful Idwal Fisher which has just appeared.  Still some copies of Spray for sale via bandcamp and downloads of this and many more releases.

2 older recordings also finally saw the light of day in 2013, see last post for the Pelktopia split LP (we haven’t got any left, you’ll have to contact the label if you want one),  and Insect Descent recorded in 2008 which came out on the great Obsolete Units label.  A glowing review is here, but don’t let him convince you, listen for yourself.  We have a few of these left if you’d like one, or order from the label.

It was an honour for Memoirs of an Aesthete to win ‘Label of the year’ in the hotly contested Zellaby Awards 2013 organised by  Radio Free Midwich, promise we didn’t bribe the judge- much! Also chuffed that Cloud Come Cadaver came second in best album category.  There’s no shame in being pipped at the post by the mighty Piss Superstition. (Memoirs Piss Superstition vinyl LP release still available to buy, get in touch completists, shameless plug etc…)

Not much doing on the live side in 2013, but we did have a very nice time hanging out at the mighty fine Cafe Oto in the good company of Alexander Tucker and Bridget Hayden.  Thanks to Alex and pals for putting that together, it was a highlight of our year.  Recon Fest in Bradford and Leeds was also a meeting of all sorts of weirdos (in a good way), but alas Phil was denied the chance to see the return of Vibracathedral (twice!) to his great annoyance.

There were a few long gestated ‘memoirs’ releases by other artists finally getting out there, Knurr and Spell (Northern Spell in Yorkshire dialect), a compilation of psychedelic noisers from Leeds and around described as ‘damn near perfect’ by Radio Free Midwich, the solo record by Leeds’ own Noise Concréte exponent Half An Abortion, debut album by distorto-sludge supergroup Castrato Attack Group (a band Mel likes to call the hardest working act in music, as they all have full-time day jobs), and last and mostly the reissue of the super rare and very very very good ‘Earth Calling’ by Fumio Kosakai, best known as half of Incapacitants. Check ’em out on bandcamp and get hold of the physical articles if you fancy…

It looks like Ashtray Navigations is now officially ‘Prog’.  Which is kind of news to us, very nice of them and thanks for their kind words, even if they’re not sure what country we’re from or how to spell the name. But such little misunderstandings add spice to life.

Anyway, the big news is it’s 2014, and that means 20 years of Ashtray Navigations.  Our first release, a split cassette with ‘Tinsnips’ on the Face Like A Smacked Arse label, was recorded and possibly released in January 1994.  Plans are afoot to do something big to celebrate.  Watch this space…

Maybe Joincey will even get Tinsnips back together? Who knows…

(Mel says ‘blimey, maybe 2013 wasn’t so quiet after all.’)

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