REVIEW: INFINITY (VOL. 1), by NAVIGATEUR
The tunes and tones of yesteryear seem to undeniably be widely held in high regard by those of us that, thirsty for nostalgia, now make up a huge section of today’s acts, artists, and producers. Amid all of the mismatched, re-purposed sampling and cloud-sourced, plundered vibes, even a leftfield take on an original composition is now a bit of a rarity. Our 20/20 hindsight and well-honed production techniques seem to lend themselves well to remastering our childhood memories, as well exemplified in Florida synthwave artist Navigateur's latest effort, his Infinity (Vol. 1) beat tape. Released yesterday via Datadiamond's Formalogic Records, Navigateur's latest mixtape is not a proper full-length like last year's Surface, yet still manages to hit just as, if not harder. Appropriations and misappropriations abound as Carlos Andujar (Navigateur) reworks samples from our pop culture palette into sparkling synthwave bangers with a liberal application of those new wave/synthpop basslines that put acts like Bobby Tank and Com Truise on the radar. He mixes up the percussion quite a bit as well, alternating between the reverb-heavy toms oft-used by the outrun crowd and trap/juke beats that glo-fi and neo-R&B artists consistently rely on for those smoove slow jams. Even the more experimental moments on Infinity (Vol. 1) will appeal to fans of everything from Friendzone's glitchy, minced vocal edits to Mitch Murder's soft focus cosmopolitan sheen. What makes this a strong release is its maximalist use of electronics, every spare second crammed to bursting with ascendent sci-fi sounds, analog synth ambience, and 80's R&B percussion. The mix's found classic sounds so loved by future funk artists and fans alike are almost indiscernible from the original arrangements, blending the past and future seamlessly non-stop for a whole hour. There is literally something here for every fan of net-based retro electronic music: witchy pitch-shifted vocals, deliberately peaking 16-bit samples, and smeared glitch-hop time signatures. Everything on the beat tape is impeccably timed and coated in a glamorous, golden aura that doesn't allow the listening audience to settle for just being turnt up. Navigateur's Infinity (Vol. 1) is a nightdrive down memory lane that does not stop until you do, soaring beyond the confines of this silent planet, of this mortal coil, and into an infinite state of paroxysmal bliss. Whether you consider yourself more of a fan of polished nods to the past (i.e. Giraffage, Lapalux) or side solidly with the cloudy retro-futurist SPF420 collective (Saint Pepsi, Wasted Nights), this album is for you, and you need to hear it badly. Do tha right thing, and grab a copy of Infinity (Vol. 1) here at Formalogic Records for whatever price you’re comfortable with. We have a strong feeling that this is going to be our favorite release in all of 2014.