REVIEW: Kavinsky – Outrun



French electronic producer Kavinsky hit the scene with “Nightcall”, the transcendent score from Ryan Gosling’s “Drive”. Since that release, Vincent Berlorgey has been crafting a running theme of cars, speed, and dramatics that has been turned into Outrun his debut studio album. The album is a reference to Sega’s 1986 arcade game which goes by the same name. The album, like the game, takes you on a ride behind the wheel of a Ferrari Testarossa.

The plot of this album, unlike the classic game, gives the driver only one life, and when he crashed his ride he is subsequently transformed into a zombie electronic producer. Kavinsky has deliberately created this narrative in homage to the 80s movies and soundtracks that shaped his childhood which in turn has made the album more like a score to this underlying zombie story than a dance album. This album is clearly meant to be listened to in its entirety, not piecemealed, and although the action is subjective the wholeness of the albums tracks suggest that this may be a soundtrack to Kavinsky’s own internal noir 80’s storyline.

Continuing off his success from ‘Drive’, Outrun is spoiled with musical allusions to speed with slow-motion chord changes, obscure lead synths, rigid beats and provocative pitches that project a dark, ride through the city streets behind the wheel of Kavinsky’s metaphorical Testarossa. Justin Gerber of “Consequences of Sound” goes as far to say: “ During the album’s climax, the beat disappears and leaves only keyboards under the narrator’s final warning: “Anyone fool enough to venture out onto that treacherous road should know one thing, there’s no turning back. Once you’ve finished Kavinsky’s Outrun, you’ll want to buckle up and ride again.”