Kavinsky, the persona of French producer Vincent Belorgay, released his first full-length album today, OutRun. Continuing in the game of 80s-inspired electronica, the album delivers a barrage of funky, glitchy, and shiny sounds and textures over its 13-track length.
Opening with a narrative prelude, we are introduced to the character of Kavinsky. He’s a teenage boy who crashed his Ferrari Testarossa in 1986, but time-traveled to the present day as a phantom driver/electronic producer…
Yes, the cheesiness of 1980s B-movies is in full force. But don’t worry, the short narration is backed by some electrifying chord hits that preview the storm to come. We are led into “Blizzard,” which quickly became one of my favorite tracks, with its slapped-bass lines and this MONSTROUS chomping sound effect in the song’s chorus.
OutRun continues its solid beginning with “ProtoVision,” another driving groove with some distorted guitar wails, the slower “Odd Look” featuring some ghostly female vocals, and the ominous “Rampage,” full of dark horns and dizzying strings. Havoc of Mobb Deep provides some rap verses on “Suburbia,” lamely proclaiming, “I come to life in my fast, fast car” (as if the sounds from Kavinsky didn’t already conjure up images of high-speed driving explicitly enough). But then comes “Testarossa Autodrive” which pretty much only needs the song’s title to be explained. Following that is “Nightcall,” the track which most people will recognize as the opening theme from Drive (which contains the same 1980s imagery as Kavinsky’s music). This song fit so perfectly in Drive that I was immediately hooked upon hearing it.
It’s the second-half of the album that dies down a little in my opinion. The tracks just seem to blur together and lose a little bit of energy, but nevertheless they are still easy on the ears. The biggest highlight here is “First Blood” which showcases some more crazy vocals and guitar licks.
Overall, Kavinsky’s style of throwback dance puts him up there with the likes of Justice, College, and Chromeo. The album has some great tracks and some throw-aways, but will definitely be well-received in the world of electronic dance music. Stream it below via Spotify.