Since releasing his debut EP titled Steady Drift, Navigateur has received a lot of attention, ranging from a feature in NYLON Magazine’s November issue about unheralded music scenes to a video made by Synesthesae Films for the song “Fourth Time in the Sun.” The EP has also been praised by numerous blogs and had a lot of activity surrounding it on BandCamp. In the past, Navigateur has shared the stage with the likes of Prince Rama, Tycho, and Beacon to name a few.
National facing music blog turned record label, Synconation, released the free EP, with plans to release the next EP title Slurrr, digitally in February and on vinyl sometime in May. Steady Drift contains four tracks titled:
1. River of Light
2. I Want You to Know
3. Girl on the Couch
4. Fourth Time in the Sun
Navigateur is categorized in both the chillwave and synth pop genres, using a lot of the analog synthesizer sound and textures that have drawn early comparisons to artists ranging from the danceable, R&B inspired grooves of DâM-FunK to the more lush, ambient layers of Washed Out. Navigateur hails from Jacksonville, Florida, from a scene that continues to gain national prominence through acts like Emperor X, Robert Raimon Roy, Radical Face, Unouomedude, The Black Kids and Gospel Music.
The project of multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, Carlos Andujar, is the sole force behind Navigateur and has been the creative force behind numerous other projects including the critically acclaimed When Tides Collide. Navigateur is currently lining up live shows throughout North, Central, and West Florida in the wake of several successful debut performances including an opening slot in Tampa for audio/visual mastermind Tycho.
Carlos R. Andujar - Vocals, Bass, Drums, Guitar, Synthesizer, midi controllers
2020 EP (2012)
Slurrr EP (2012)
Steady Drift EP (2011)
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Take a breather from the ear banging EDM consuming Miami this weekend and feed your mild side. Carlo...Take a breather from the ear banging EDM consuming Miami this weekend and feed your mild side. Carlos Andujar (aka Navigateur) dishes out some upbeat, synthy analog tracks for your listening pleasure. Navigateur first started when he found freedom in composing and performing electronic music and by incorporate acoustic elements and sounds from found objects he avoids a “template” for his music. Thus far he has mainly played around Florida, including an opening set for Tycho in Tampa.
To date he has released two EPs titled Steady Drift and Slurrr, as well as his first full-length album titled 2020 which you can download for free by clicking here(http://synconation.bandcamp.com/releases). Navigateur currently resides in Atlanta where he has a studio up and running and is cooking up some more jams. Enjoy some of his warm, neo-funk tracks posted below and meltttt.
Navigateur Travels to 2020
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One of my favourite producers of avant garde and experimental synth music is Navigateur. Walking a l...One of my favourite producers of avant garde and experimental synth music is Navigateur. Walking a line somewhere between LaserDisc Visions and Com Truise the sounds produced by this talented visionary consistently offer new and diverse journeys into the galaxies of synth music while always maintaining a primarily 80s tone and personality.
One of Navigateur's tracks from last year, We Need The Beat, was my number 2 track for the year in my Electronica chart and his latest release contains the official home for this masterpiece along with six other totally rockin Navigateur journeys into the future.
The opening salvo, Elevator Music, is a perfectly crafted introduction to the futuristic vistas we're about to explore. Synth tracks flow and pulsate with the colours of futurism, crystallised in chrome and neon, welcoming and yet cold with austerity. This piece is just off-kilter enough to make your centre of gravity feel slightly out of alignement before the floor drops away and our concepts of the near future become rewritten, Navigateur style.
The pulsating neon becomes the Bright Lights of chapter two. The funky staccato loops begin forming in esoteric layers, stippled with vocal stabs and a glorious delirium that is pure Navigateur in colour and motion. There are so many totally rockin 80s sounds in here that are brought into a futuristic dimension, it's like we went right from 1985 to 2020. What Navigateur's sound trades off in its authenticity to 80s sounds it gains in its own personalised vision that manages to remain true and honest.
One just has to hear to radiantly radical opening to the title track, 2020, to know the heart of the 80s beats loud and proud within the modern vestige displayed. The bass funks up a storm and orchestral stabs punctuate a glitching vocal that is still epically soulful, then the hi-hats open up and the stratosphere becomes a multicoloured kaleidoscope of aural energies. The majesty is breathtaking and the fact this track leads into We Need The Best makes for an absolutely stunning experience.
We Need The Beat is a musical adventure, I personally think, is total perfection. This was one of my most listened to tracks last years and just begs to be put on repeat for hours at a time. The glitch skipping is engineered to masterful brilliance and everything feels like it's riding the same audio roller coaster, leaning into the turns while the inertia bends out the lower end of the spectrum only to then be sent careening in the opposite direction in a startlingly beautiful manner. It's hard, still, to go passed this track on the album, but more Navigateur magic beckons, this time with and extended robotic hand that beckons and guides us into the Destiny Club.
The smoothness of the first half of the album is eschewed for sharper and more sparkling piece that jumps in and out its own dimensionality like some kind of multi layered holographic dancer. This track's midpoint takes on a much more relaxed vignette of calmly serene beauty, but this flight of fancy is merely hinted at before the colours mesh, then flicker once more.
2020 contains Navigateur's own brand of synth romance in Future City Love. The resonating tones of the opening lead into pure 80s teen love splendour as the times of 2020 become the place of first crushes and late night phone calls. The glitch skipping is used in a wonderfully warm new way in this piece, feeling like your heart's skipping a beat when her eyes catch yours across a crowded home room. The final parts of Navigateur's romantic foray ends up at night time on the beach where first kisses beneath the twin moons lead to a whole new future of possibilities.
Our final experience in 2020 keeps to a similar motif in Dream School. This is pointed directly into the dreamy end of the spectrum with a tailspin dive through pink clouds at the speed of sound accompanied by a driving percussive track and a refrain that calms the mind and spirit in the face of all this possibly cataclysmic energy. Pulling out of tailspin and climbing back into the heavens we feel the earth drop away and star filled universe becomes the canvas on which our dreams are painted. The story is made complete as the void of space rotates around our very beings, becoming one with the energies of earth and the cosmos as the final evolution of human kind.
2020 is presented by Synconation Records on their Bandcamp page here for FREE purchase. This release is such a perfectly arranged and constructed experience that it is most certainly deserving of being a Synthetix Reference Experience.
Be sure to give Navigateur lots of love on his soundcloud page here and Facebook page here and thank him in advance for the future we're yet to experience.
Navigateur's 2020 Vision
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Navigateur, or Carlos Andujar out of Jacksonville, FL, is giving us all an EP to enjoy. And when I s...Navigateur, or Carlos Andujar out of Jacksonville, FL, is giving us all an EP to enjoy. And when I say enjoy, I mean it. He's given the Waxhole an advance listen and yeah the two tracks posted below are just the surface of the goodness that follows.
We've posted Navigateur before (HERE) and we've been keeping tabs on him ever since. This album will be available to download on the label's site, Synconation.com and there will be a listening party on Turntable.fm here on Friday (More details).
As for the album, the title track, 2020 as you see below is one that synths out to great effect, using the driving beat to keep that head bobbin and the ass shakin'. We Need The Beat is equally infectious as 2020 and you'll be left wanting more after hearing.
When asked about the inspiration or theme of the album, Navigateur had this to say:
"The theme is basically an homage to an antiquated vision of how people from the late 70s and 80s may have viewed the future in the new millenium (think cityscapes seen in Bladerunner, sci-fi tech seen in Dune, the silliness of Back to the Future). It follows a loose narrative of a girl stumbling into this futuristic city and the EP is more or less a soundtrack chronicling her journey through the city as she wanders its streets, finds love, and eventually escapes it and returns to a home of pure energy."
So follow Navigateur, check out the rest of the album and show Carlos some love. He deserves it!
LISTEN: NAVIAGATEUR – SLURRR EP
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In a testament to hard work of a certain Carlos Andujar, his band — Navigateur — has found itself be...In a testament to hard work of a certain Carlos Andujar, his band — Navigateur — has found itself being uttered from our digital mouths a lot lately. We were thrilled when his label — Jacksonville, Fla.-based Synconation Records — gave away free downloads of his four-track EP back in October and even more elated when the outfit opened for Tycho earlier this year.
Now Synconation has released Slurrr, a six-track extended player featuring more of Navigateur’s knack for crafting rich, lusciously textured, downtempo electronic music (or what y’all like to call chillwave). “The Ghost of Xi Xi” is a more upbeat number which features foreign language samples and an instrumental track that makes us feel like we’re living in a video game. Have a look at the video for “Xi Xi” here, and stream the entirety of Slurrr below. Purchase the effort here.
Navigateur - Slurrr EP
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Navigateur. Cet Américain (Floride) qui baigne dans les 80’s nous y invite l’espace d’un trek Chillw...Navigateur. Cet Américain (Floride) qui baigne dans les 80’s nous y invite l’espace d’un trek Chillwave très “Kavinskien”.
Si vous ne connaissez pas le genre et la BO de Drive vous a plu, ne passez pas votre chemin ! Cet EP est fait pour vous !
D’emblée notons le très bel Artwork.
Globalement très aboutit, l’EP dénote la qualité de l’artiste, il n’y a aucun déchet.
I Know I’m Falling, But I’m Still ouvre magistralement Slurrr.
Après avoir dévoré Ghost Of Xi Xi et Nobody Knows! on s’arrêtera sur l’excellent You’re Always Here. Merveilleusement fluide et très riche, ce morceau est d’une rare beauté.
Surprise très agréable sur la fin d’Everywhere, des doigts de velours se chargent de clôturer un très bon moment musical.
Si vous avez apprécié cet EP autant que moi, je ne peux que vous inviter à soutenir Navigateur sur son facebook.
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Jacksonville’s Navigateur (aka Carlos R. Andujar) released his debut EP Steady Drift just recently a...Jacksonville’s Navigateur (aka Carlos R. Andujar) released his debut EP Steady Drift just recently and its 4-track entity encompasses everything chill in the electronic producers’ domain while paying homage to ’80s and early ’90s r&b aesthetics. Check out the super smooth opening cut “Girl On The Couch” and grab the rest of the EP for free at Synconation Record’s Bandcamp.
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Navigateur has just released his second EP Slurrr via Synconation Records last month. His creative u...Navigateur has just released his second EP Slurrr via Synconation Records last month. His creative use of soundscapes captivates your ear and sends you on the chill wave wagon. From beginning to end it's a smooth and layered progression of atmospheric sound. I was lucky enough to have had the pleasure of talking with Navigateur and watching him perform last Friday at the Tycho show in Ybor City. Here is what he had to say:
TLC: Tell me a little bit about your new EP Slurrr. What was your inspiration behind this EP?
Nav: I have to be honest and tell you that there was no real “theme” or “concept” behind this EP at the outset. To be even more honest, this EP was really put together simply to have something to offer at upcoming shows, in particular the last show I played opening for Tycho!
That being said, as I was compiling a list of songs that seemed to make the most sense together, I felt that there actually was some sort of common thread among the tracks in terms of the circumstances in which they were written.
I generally stay up until the very early AM hours to finish up tracks, and these were no different. In some cases I would work on a song, not go to bed at all, and just pick away at until it was time to go to work in the morning. The result, aside from the music, was me in a weird, groggy, near-euphoric state the following day. You ever try to wake someone up from a deep sleep and try to understand the words coming from their mouth? There’s your album title.
TCL: How many albums have you released so far and how have they progressed in your mind?
Nav: As far as Navigateur is concerned, Slurrr is my 2nd official release. I have a bunch of songs including a few remixes, that can be found online, but yeah, Slurrr is the 2nd official release.
Steady Drift was very much an experiment in that I was still learning how to write this kind of music and figuring out all the little nuances that go into making, what I consider to be, a good song, so there’s a much more raw, adolescent component to that release.
Slurrr feels a little bit more polished, although there’s a track or two that was written when I was first getting started with this kind of thing. But overall it feels a little more polished, and I feel like I know what I need to do in order to get the desired effect. The new EP also features a few more live instruments versus VST instruments. For example, “Ghost of Xi Xi”, which is the first single off the new EP, has some live drum work that I recorded open air for that kind of “far away” and gritty effect.
This new EP also has a lot less reliance on sampling versus Steady Drift. This wasn’t my first choice, but in light of the state of copyright law in this country, it’s kind of a necessary one if you want to release an album for sale and not get sued, unfortunately. And believe me, I’m fully aware of how lame that sounds.
TCL: What kind of equipment are you currently using and if you had to choose, which one is your favorite?
Nav: So far, Ableton has been the main brain behind all my songs. I do all my writing, recording, playing live shows, and some pre-mastering in Ableton.
I’ve been trying to go in more of a hardware direction versus software, collecting more hardware synths, outboard recording gear and effects, things like that, but every now and then if it calls for it, I’ll grab a good VST instrument for some quick and dirty sequencing and the like.
I’ve only recently started my synth collection, but so far I’ve scored a Yamaha DX7, a Roland Super JX-10, and most recently an Ensoniq SQ-80 synth. I also use an Alesis Micron for some leads, bass lines, and some occasional pads.
The SQ-80 has been REALLY awesome so far because of how versatile it is. I also love the fact that I can load a ton of patches via 3.5mm floppy disk but still have the great sound of analog filters.
Some day, though, I’d really love to own some good analog gear. My dream synths include the Roland Juno-60, Moog Minimoog, and ARP Odyssey just to name a few...
TCL: Where do you get your inspiration from when making your music?
Nav: It’s kind of hard to narrow it down to just one source. So many things influence how I create things. Little daily interactions with people can spawn entire songs for me, or just being around certain parts of the country can put me in a certain mood and make me want to write.
Cinema also plays a huge part in how I create. Something about the graininess of films from the late 70s and early to mid-80s put me in such a weird state, in a good way. There’s like a weird loneliness/emptiness that just kind of permeates those films and the old methods of movie production give them this archaic and imperfect feel, and I just really feel like a lot of those films resonate with me. The film scores from that era are also huge for me. Listen to the synth work in The Warriors, or the enormous guitar riffs in Toto’s score for Dune. I love BIG sounds like that.
Aside from those things, I’m also a very visual person, and I feel like music and art have an important relationship with each other, as is evidenced by the fact that more and more bands these days are incorporating visual elements as vital components to their live performances. I’ve been a web/graphic designer for about a decade now, and it’s funny to think about how my visual skillsets morph along side my musical skillsets. That being said, I usually turn to blogs like ffffound, Dribbble, and ISO50 for design inspiration which translates into ideas for music.
TCL: Who are some of your favorite artist right now?
Nav: I’m kind of all over the place with this and there’s so many to list, but last year I was spinning Ford & Lopatin’s Channel Pressure non-stop along with Onra’s Long Distance. There’s some truly innovative beat-making on those releases. I’m REALLY looking forward to hearing the new Ice Choir record when it’s finished. Their music is heavenly.
TCL: Who is the designer behind your album art?
Nav: I did the layout and type for Steady Drift, although I’m not sure who took the photo! For Slurrr, Ian Latchmansingh, who co-owns Synconation Records and helps me with promotion/management stuff, did the layout. Don’t be surprised if you see a different cover for Slurrr because we can’t seem to find who did the original illustration!
TCL: Who would you really like to collaborate with on a song if you could?
Nav: I haven’t really thought about that too much, but it’s an interesting question.
I would love to work with a good R&B vocalist like Mary J Blige so I could sample from them (legally). Working with Brian Eno would probably the pinnacle of my career, since he’s my hero!
TCL: What’s next for Navigateur?
Nav: Hopefully a full-length record! I’ll be hitting my bedroom studio to write more songs and in between that I’ll be playing a show or two around Jacksonville. I’d love to eventually do some touring to support the full-length once it’s finished. I love the idea of taking Navigateur across the country and seeing how people react, so we’ll see. I’ve got a lot planned, and I’m excited to see how it all turns out!
Navigateur Mixtape + Interview
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Near the end of 2011 we stumbled upon Jacksonville’s Navigateur. We all quickly fell in love with hi...Near the end of 2011 we stumbled upon Jacksonville’s Navigateur. We all quickly fell in love with his music. If you recall, he was also in our Neighborhood Brains Mixtape that was basically a compilation of our favorite songs that had been released in these past few months.
Carlos Andujar (Navigateur) is the man behind all of this magic being made. He is one of the coolest and nicest dudes you’ll meet. He was also kind enough to do an interview with us, going over from how Navigateur started to his music writing process and main influences (NO, we didn’t ask any chillwave questions). We’re super stoked on this and could not be more thankful to Carlos.
But wait, there’s more.
Remember how I said he’s the coolest dude you’ll meet? Well this just goes to show. He made a mixtape for Neighborhood Brains. The mixtape is a bunch of songs that helped him get through a “not quite having a winter in Florida”. It’s by far one of the best mixtapes I’ve heard.
So check out the interview below and listen to/download the mixtape that Navigateur made for us.
We ? you Navigateur.
NHB: First things first, could you give us a little brief introduction? How did Navigateur get started? Is this your only project you’re involved with?
N: So I started Navigateur as kind of a reaction to some of the music I was hearing at the time. I had always loved 80s music and shoegazer music but I didn’t quite know it yet, I guess. I heard M83‘s Saturdays = Youth and I felt like he captured this awesome spirit of the 80s in that album and it just started stirring that love of the 80s that I had again. A while later I heard Onra’s Long Distance and Washed Out’s Feel It All Around and after hearing those albums I was sort of like, “Alright, this sounds like too much fun, I’ve got to take a stab at this!” I wasn’t setting out to copy anyone or anything like that, obviously, but I definitely felt like the heavily 80's-influenced sound was such a perfect marriage of really airy, ambient music with the more fun, beat-driven, hip-hop inspired stuff and it felt like the kind of music that I had been waiting to hear and wanted to be a part of. So I started reading online and researching how people were making electronic music, gradually started building my setup, and eventually developed my own little methods for writing songs.
NHB: When did you start making any kind of music?
N: I had always tinkered with writing electronic music since I was a teenager. I started out playing with a really cheap Yamaha keyboard that my mom bought when I was a kid. It had these really cheesy drum sounds on it and I would just layer and bounce tracks on this 4-track that I had borrowed from my cousin. Eventually I got a hold of ReBirth and FruityLoops3 and made some really awful techno music that I would pass around to my friends.
Aside from that, I had started playing guitar when I was still in elementary school, and just sort of taught myself how to play. Eventually I just sort of picked up bass, drums, synth, and a little cello (of which I’m still horrible at) and found ways to record my ideas and eventually started paying attention to them enough to where I could organize them better into actual songs. I ended up playing a variety of instruments in a variety of different kinds of bands over time, and Navigateur is my latest chapter.
NHB: Tell us a little about Jacksonville. What’s the music scene over there like? Is there much of a fan base for Navigateur?
N: Jacksonville has always been this kind of enigma to me. I’ve lived here for about 15 years, more or less, and the scene (it feels like that’s too cohesive of a term to use to describe the landscape here) has changed so much, even in that short span. We’ve gone from having grassroots music festivals, multiple record shops and venues to having maybe 1 record shop and only a handful of venues to play at. It’s been up and down like this for years, and it’s just hard for things to remain consistent.
Recently things have started picking up again, and there are people here in town who are really trying to do great things for the community and bring some attention to our city. People like Brenton Crozier, Ian Latchmansingh, Cash Carter, and Vlad Thee Inhaler seem to have a genuine interest in helping local talent shine and really illuminating the potential that the artists in Jacksonville have to offer.
In terms of my fanbase, it’s hard for me to say. I’m really just getting started but the initial response has been pretty great and I’m so thankful and appreciative for the people who actually enjoy what I’m doing and appreciate my work. I’m not trying to convert anyone, I just hope to move someone in some way!
NHB: Any bands/artists from Jacksonville to keep an eye on?
N: Yeah totally, there is some good stuff here in town. I really love the little bit that I’ve heard of Moyamoya, which is a 3-piece instrumental band who does this kind of post-rock thing but does it in this interesting way. Sunbears! have been getting a lot of attention lately with their psychedelic-inspired stuff, and unouomedude has also been getting a lot of attention for his stuff. Aside from them, there are great bands like Twelve Hour Turn, The Cadets, Shangrala, and Stella Luna whose catalogs are worth checking out even though they’re not together anymore.
NHB: When producing and writing music it’s just you right? How does it work for live shows?
N: Yeah, I do pretty much everything. I initially started this idea with my friend Philip, but he kind of dropped out early on to pursue other stuff. He provided some synth work and laid the groundwork for 2-3 songs but I handled pretty much everything else.It kind of works the same way with the live shows, although recently I had a blast playing a show with Philip who contributed sax, synth, and guitar on stage.
NHB: With your release of the Slurrr EP you’re getting alot of positive feedback, where do you see Navigateur heading in the near future?
N: I’m glad to hear Slurrr is getting some good feedback! As far as the future of Navigateur, who knows! I’d love to finish a full-length album, play some shows around the country, hopefully make it to Europe, and just keep on writing.
NHB: So, you were recently signed onto Synconation, correct? How’d that all happen?
N: Well, I wouldn’t say I was signed exactly. Right now Synconation is just getting started and we’re operating under a kind of “handshake” agreement, which is nice because it relieves so much pressure for everyone involved and makes it more focused on producing a quality product.In terms of how it happened, it was sort of a gradual thing I guess. I’d known Brenton, who started Synconation, for a few years. We’ve worked at two of the same marketing/design companies and we just sort of stayed in touch and developed this kind of friendship. About a year or two ago, he stopped working for this NPR show that he was a part of and started Synconation as a music blog. It was around the same time that I had started Navigateur and he and Ian, who also runs the label/blog, expressed interest in helping me release some music as their “flagship” artist, and here we are today.
NHB: What are some of your main influences when it comes to overall, making music?
N: I really love watching films for inspiration, especially films from the 80s. Bladerunner, The Warriors, Dune, and The Breakfast Club were just a few films that really inspired me.Aside from that, I like to think that I’m a pretty moody/situational listener and I find myself only listening to certain music at certain times of the day or in certain situations (driving, walking through a city, having a conversation, etc). I think those kinds of things tend to influence me even more these days. I’m fascinated by existence and how two people can analyze the same set of data and arrive at completely different perceptions of reality.
NHB: Do any or all of your song’s titles have a deeper meaning or a background story to them? If so, we’d all love to hear about them!
N: Nah, not really. There’s a couple about my wife, and there’s some references to conversations with friends at work, but aside from that nothing really deep.
NHB: Could you give us a little rundown of your music writing process?
N: Well, it depends on what kind of song I set out to write. A lot of times, with the sample-based stuff, I’ll start with some samples that I really dig and then just kind of form a loose song structure after having jammed with the samples for awhile. Then I’ll go back and lay down some drums, bass, synth, and whatever else FX I feel would work well with the song.For the more melody-driven songs, I’ll play around with a few bars of a melody for awhile and kind of cut up and trigger different phrases. I might do this for an hour or so, then move on to another idea, and start the process again. Then I’ll usually come back after a few days, revisit the song and it’ll usually be so fresh to me that I’m able to hammer out the remainder of it that same day/night. So it can be kind of a long, lengthy process, but I tend to get a little obsessive and feel like I need to take as much time as possible to make sure the track feels good to me.
NHB: Do you have a favorite piece of equipment that you use for recording/performing?
N: I’m still learning new things about Ableton Live every day. I use Ableton as my main workhorse, and it’s so great in that it’s flexible enough to have the capability of doing pretty much whatever I want. It’s also nice in that I have the ability to use the same software for writing/recording that I also use for performing, so that makes the transition pretty painless.Other than that, I recently got an Ensoniq SQ-80 that I’m really fond of so far. It’s got some great patches, and loading patches via the 3.5mm floppy drive on it is a trip!
NHB: What are your favorite songs to play live? What kind of reaction do you like to see from the crowd?
N: So far I’ve had a lot of fun playing “Girl on the Couch” and “We Need the Beat”. I kind of end “Girl on the Couch” with this really slow, ecco-jam-ish version of the Mary J Blige sample and just let it ride out. “We Need the Beat” is fun to play because of how I can kind of just wreck and destroy the original and make it sound chopped up. It’s a lot of fun doing that kind of stuff on the fly and I get into this cool zone when I’m triggering FX and stuff.I really just want people to have a good time, let loose, and have fun to my music. I’m still the new guy, and people don’t really know who I am, so this might be difficult at first, but I’d love to just get people dancing to my stuff. I’d love to look up at the crowd and just see people dancing like no one’s watching!
NHB: What do you do with your time when you’re not Navigateur?
N: I’m a web/graphic designer by day (and often times night) so I’m usually pretty busy doing that kind of stuff, reading articles online, and keeping up with technologies/frameworks when I’m not obsessing over music. When I’m not designing something or writing music, I’m usually hanging out with my wife, exploring different craft beers, and trying new foods.
NHB: Something you’re looking forward to?
N: If everything works out, we should be heading out to the UK or Europe sometime this year, if we’ve saved enough. I’d love to book some shows while we’re out there.
NHB: Well, that’s it! Any last words?
Download: Navigateur, ‘Steady Drift’
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As a sucker for most everything 00s R&B, I was hooked on Navigateur’s “Girl on the Couch” right at t...As a sucker for most everything 00s R&B, I was hooked on Navigateur’s “Girl on the Couch” right at the 14 second mark. A looped sample of the first six keys from Mary J. Blige’s 2005 hit “Be Without You” at first feels quite claustrophobic, especially considering just how powerful the moment of resolution is in MJB’s original chorus. But a handful of chopped (and occasionally screwed) samples soon rushes in on wave after wave of warm synth, and any feeling of tension is delicately, swiftly washed away.
Of course, this 4-song, super-busy EP is just one little moment in what is, ahem, a momentous release for my birthcity. Steady Drift is the first release from the Jacksonville, Florida-based upstart indie label Synconation Records. The label is the latest in an interesting series of passion-fueled entrepreneurial spinoffs. As Amy Moore writes in the her piece “Jacksonville: A Place to Stay?”,
“Synconation, the blog, is itself a spin-off of locally produced NPR show State of the Re:Union, with SOTR staffers Brenton Crozier and Ian Latchmansingh deciding to focus more energy on the musical connections they made through the show. Eventually, Crozier says, because “the show wasn’t the right venue to fully utilize those contacts,” he was hit with the idea to start a music blog…On their quest to create a Jacksonville “media empire,” as Crozier only half-jokingly calls the endeavor, the two had more in mind than just music reviews. They began to envision ways they could help the local music scene and bring a spotlight to Jacksonville bands…Latchmansingh reflects that he and Crozier ”weren’t completely aware of it when we started a year ago, but our writers are rooted in the local music scene, and we were finding a lot of great bands that were unsigned and not properly promoted. It wasn’t long before the pair joined with Jacksonville musician and former music store owner, Cash Carter, to get the ball rolling and officially form the label.”
The pair is inspired by the grassroots rise of such labels as (now) Durham’s own Merge, but how easy it is to foster a nationally-recognized scene via record label in the single-ccentric, mp3 era remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s one helluvan intriguing experiment-in-progress for both Jacksonvilleans (?) and followers of truly independent music alike.
Visit: synconation.com (But beware: they really, really like their lists of 5).
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The fuzzy, atmospheric Navigateur is the electronic project of Carlos Andujar. His first EP, Steady ...The fuzzy, atmospheric Navigateur is the electronic project of Carlos Andujar. His first EP, Steady Drift, was just released (for free!) by Synconation, a new blog-turned-record label in Jacksonville. Check out the track "River of Light" for a sampling of his hypnotic, experimental sound.
I Know I'm Falling, but I'm still here
Fourth Time in the Sun
We Need the Beat
Greenleaf (Navigateur Remix)
Girl on the Couch
You're Always Right
River of Light
Ghost of Xi Xi