Ashtray Navigations – ‘Insect Descent’
Phil Todd’s Ashtray Navigations has endured in numerous multifarious formations since the mid-90’s, operating as both a solo and group enterprise that has recorded for an extensive list of crucial experimental labels (Siltbreeze, Chocolate Monk, and Celebrate Psi Phenomenon to name a few, as well as Todd’s own Memoirs Of An Aesthete) while having conquered all approaches to subterranean psychedelia: gargantuan deep-drones, endless minimalism, pastoral improvisations. A long-unreleased full-length recorded circa 2008, Insect Descent sees Todd generating his music in isolation, yet the sonics suggest some of Ash Nav’s most densely constructed and meticulously overlapped torrents of noise, a tumult that recalls Matthew Bowers various guitar-and-electronics masterworks as well as the piercingly gorgeous instrumental chants of Vibracathedral Orchestra and the meditative mantras of LaMonte Young. From the bombastic feedback symphony of One Millions Pleasurecards All Painted White to the tranquilizing serenity of Fake Aeroplanes, these five works intertwine into a seamless fusion of cathartic eruption and trance-inducing edification. One of Todd’s most immediate and paramount recordings by far. Pro-pressed/pro-printed CDR housed in a pro-printed digipack. Edition of 100.
Corcorax – ‘Tape/Circles’
Corcorax is a recondite duo consisting of sound sculptors Che Chen and Tom Mulligan (billed here as Xhe Xhen and Tmm Mulligan), both of whom have operated within numerous practices and projects in the recent past (Mulligan as Radio Ruido, part of the Dub Dub DJ crew, and the Triangulation podcast; Chen as half of True Primes and part of Heresy Of The Free Spirit which includes the acclaimed composer/lute player Jozef Van Wissem). Their inaugural release Tape/Circles is a short suite consisting of two distinct pieces of churning and enticing abstraction that make a controlled clamour out of a distinctly minimal set-up (Chen on tape and object manipulation, Mulligan on a modified turntable); a distinct mechanized ambience alternately consoles and flusters, the intermingling absonant tones latching into an exclusive synergy. Recalling at once Francisco Lopez’s building recordings, moments of Jason Lescaleet’s early work, and even the chain-dragging squal of early New Blockaders, the erratic and elusive sounds presented here solicit curious concentration. The artwork and insert for this release comes beautifully letterpressed (silver ink on dark orange stock) by Ben Owen of Middle Press. Pro-pressed/pro-dubbed edition of 100.