Navigator formed whilst students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and began rehearsing at the Noisebox studios in norwich. Evocative of contemporaries, Mogwai, they were also compared to Tortoise and Bark Psychosis.
Their first single "Killtaker" (nbx022, black vinyl) sold out of its 500 pressing in three weeks. The single attracted the attention of major record companies, music press and John Peel. The second single, "A little astronomy" (nbx026) was a similar success selling out of its blue vinyl 500 pressing in just one week. By now there was a real buzz about the band and their third single "When the wires fall" (nbx027, red vinyl) saw them tour the uk with mogwai, temporarily recruiting telstar ponies' brendan o'hare on drums after sam fell ill with appendicitus on the first night of the tour. The single also made it into the indie top ten by selling out of its 750 pressing in one day and an amateur video appeared on itv's "The Chart Show". the band played some great support gigs at this time to people like David Thomas (ex-pere ubu) and Novak.
The band became more interested in experimenting and deconstructing found sounds and tape loops and were looking to move away from the song-based structures of the early singles. their fourth single for noisebox, "Assay ep" (nbx028/nbx028cd) was the point at which sam left the band to pursue a successful career in journalism. The "Assay ep" was released on a double-pack 7" (clear vinyl) which sold out and a cd single which did not.
Due to contractual reasons tied up with their publishing contract with Island Music, the band went on to record their debut album for the Swarfinger label rather than for Noisebox Records. "Nostalgie" sold out of its vinyl pressing and the band played a few, increasingly radical shows where they would improvise sounds for the length of the set. sometimes it worked, sometimes not.
There is a compilation album of navigator's singles for the noisebox records label available on Burning Shed . The limited vinyl releases all of these sold out very quickly."II (novo)" originally appeared on the cover-mounted cd which came with a magazine called "Sessions". the magazine is now defunct and the print run was small, so this is quite rare. Consensus within the band is that this is actually a much better version of the song.
Matt Elliott's remix of Assay (under his "Third Eye Foundation" name) was undertaken as a favour to the band as an associate of theirs. It deconstructs the track completely and uses elements of other tracks from the Assay ep too. This was originally available as a limited vinyl version on the swarfinger label.
known additional musicians:
Kate Day (violin),
Matthew White (trumpet)
nbx022 - 7" vinyl - noisebox records
A little astronomy
nbx026 - 7" blue vinyl - noisebox records
hand-made blue and silver slip sleeve
When the wires fall
nbx027 - 7" red vinyl - noisebox records
hand-made red and silver slip sleeve
the assay ep
nbx028 - double 7" clear vinyl - noisebox records
hand-made green and silver slip sleeve
the assay ep
nbx028cd - CDS - noisebox records
sf032 - LP - Vinyl - Swarfinger
sf032cd - cdlp - Swarfinger
Track: Assay Artist: NAVIGATOR CD: Author: Melia/Robottom/ Walsh
Navigator - Noisebox Singles (1996 - 1997)
2. diving bell
3. on all you hold sacred
5. when the wires fall
6. impossible without...
7. a little astronomy
8. at the end of the day
11. we will all burn together
12. II (novo) - remix for sessions magazine
13. assay - 3rd eye foundation remix
14. tycho brahe (previously unreleased)