Download: Navigateur, ‘Steady Drift’

Download (just click): Navigateur, Steady Drift via Synconation Records’ bandcamp.

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).