Kavinsky released his first single, ‘Teddy Boy’, in 2006, since then he’s been gathering pace like a classic car, with only fleeting appearances to continue the mysterious narrative of a man possessed after crashing his prized Ferrari on the way to see his girlfriend.
We’re told all this in the first track ‘Prelude’ which is narrated by Daft Punk’s manager because, you know, that’s just how Kavinsky rolls. The album is the kick-ass soundtrack to film that’s never been made – well at least not yet – it’s the work of a over-imaginative former French actor and all-round man-of-mystery Vincent Belorgey. From the opening bars of the ‘Prelude’ and ‘Blizzard’ you know you’re listen to something that tries to combines the best of Daft Punk’s artistry and Justice’s trashy baroque electro, now, normally that would probably be a weak observation, but it’s integral to the style of this album, it’s a combination of art and music, in perfect balance. It’s also pretty clear SebastiAn has had his hands on some of the tracks, just listening to the vocal of ‘Odd Look’ it will immediately remind you of his own ‘Embody’.
‘Outrun’ is basically a tour-de-force of cinematic electro; it’s trashy, glitchy futurism. ‘Rampage’ is a basically Kavinsky’s ‘Stress’; ballsy, in-your-face and one of the many stand-out tracks of an album that’s 44 mintues long and includes 13 tracks, 8 of which are completely new. Once you’ve despatched Testrarossa, you’re on the home straight with the chip-tune infused ‘Dead Cruiser’, a homage to the classic Sega arcade game Outrun, ‘Grand Canyon’ sounds a bit like Beethoven on meth, and reminded of us of that scene from Bill and Ted where Beethoven goes nuts of 8 keyboards. Then there’s even a cameo from Tyson who adds his own unique brand of hysterical funk to the post-Top Gun glam rock of ‘First Blood’.
You can’t help but feel that with this album, and the possible release of a new Daft Punk album, we could be seeing the green shoots of a French electro revival. Kavinsky is apparently already working on his live show, and with this material he’s likely to have a similar sort of impact as Justice did with Cross in 2006, throw-in the fact that Kavinsky reportedly has his own radio station on Grand Theft Auto 5 and you’re got another mercurial French star in the making.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
HBF rating: 5/5
Out February 25 via Record Makers/ Casablanca.