It’s a bit difficult to expound any further on how much we love Navigateur, especially after finally hearing his latest full-length release, Surface. You know those rare albums where you almost can’t pick a favorite track? It’s one of those. We can count Dreams West's </3, Friendzone's Collection I, and Supreme Cuts' Whispers in the Dark among those select few albums that are literally perfect from beginning to end (at least to us), and we would like to add Navigateur's Surface to that canon of nearly perfect releases. I’m sure our readership is familiar with the stylings of Atlanta's Carlos Andujar (Navigateur): hi-fi synthwave with exotic digital instrumentation, the occasional funk/R&B sample, and a strong eighties influence. The thing that really impresses us is that, like fellow retro-futurists Bobby Tank, Com Truise, and Mitch Murder, Navigateur creates original compositions in the vein of the strains of yesteryear. This is a rarity among bedroom producers, drowning in the sample-wielding vaporwave horde. Beginning with the sound of a harsh wind blowing, Surface kicks off with “Inner Self”, an epic opener that features the ever-widening arpeggiated synth tones of the timeless Final Fantasy theme. Gradually, Navigateur's trademark bombastic, reverberating percussion kicks in, along with a symphony of lush hypnagogic synth tracks. Our featured choice cut, “Against the Tide" is introduced via glistening, echo-laden tones, but quickly morphs into a celestial banger with the advent of a driving wall of beat, basslines, and shrieking italo-disco synth leads. Aquatic atmospherics set the mood during "Breathe”, while evocative basslines similar to those used by fellow retro synthwave artist D/A/D make up the lion’s share of “Tremors”. “Sundown" utilizes tight, eighties-influenced percussion, while "So Tired…" is memorable for its inclusion of hip-hop beats and subtly pitch-shifted vocal samples (think Friendzone producing Stumbleine's next album). “Surface Light" gives us a burst of saxophone and salty fresh air, as it segues into the warm waves of rhythm synth and juke/footwork-heavy beatmaking in "Alive”. Of course, “Is This the End?”, which was featured on our latest VHS Wave mix, is a perfect summary of the album, as it features the screaming synth leads, the plaintive vocal effects, and the Balearic digital tracks that we know and love. “Brilliance" noodles its way out in ephemeral fashion, going out with a gauzy glow rather than a bristling bang, begging the listener to immediately start the whole experience over again. Surface is a perfect album, folks. When it’s over, you get the same feeling you get when you wake up from a fantastic dream. The difference here is that, for the very reasonable minimum of $10 over at Formalogic Records, you can lucid dream right now. Do tha right thing, and grab a free MP3 download of “Against the Tide”. Afterwards, we beg of you: buy Navigateur's Surface, one of 2013’s greatest releases, ASAP right here. Highly recommended to fans of Crozet, Spinoff, Teengirl Fantasy, and the like.