kavinsky_outrunActually when I read that Daft Punk had postponed their album to May, I thought ok let’s listen to another French guy’s music named Kavinsky. The album “Outrun” was produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and yes this album definitely rocks the house and has a potential to be very successful in 2013, but beating Daft Punk will certainly be very difficult including the fact that the French  Touch “mouvance” is  following the same direction by using and re-sampling rock guitar riffs and mixing them with electro beats and 80’s synthesizers.

To make it short this album (assuming you don’t know that it was mainly composed by Sebastian and Kavinsky) can be seen as a Justice or even Sebastien Tellier sequel album: all ingredients are in there: catchy rock riffs re-sampled with pure 80’s sample with this typical French touch beat. The second you start listening to this album you are beamed to the typical 80’s: Ferrari Testarossa, Magnum, people acting like Michael Jackson’s zombies in Thriller atmosphere. Oh yes the 80’s, but one essential thing is missing in this cameo: a nice DeLorean. And this 80’s feeling is present on the whole CD. But let me precise something: not all songs are really from Kavinsky himself and here’s the problem: by trying to make catchy 80’s styled electro tracks you quickly fall into simplicity by copying parts or complete parts of cult tracks or soundtracks. That’s a critic point especially concerning the samples taken from “Dragon Ball Z” and Eric Charden‘s “Sun Ku Kai”.

Back to the music: The tracks on this opus will sound very familiar like “Odd Look” and “Roadgame”, because they were all used in 2012 in the BMW and Mercedes A-Class TV ads and of course “Nightcall” was used in the OST of the film “Drive”.

Kavinsky – Night Call

 

Kavinsky – Protovision

 

 

 

Kavinsky – Odd Look – BMW Ad / 2012

 

Tracks like “Blizzard” or “Rampage” have a cool touch with really cool guitar riffs and powerful sequences. But wait a minute…. isn’t “Blizzard” just a speed-up version of “San Ku Kai”? and “Rampage” a 1:1 sample of “Dragon Ball Z” ?

San Ku Kai – Eric Charden’s version

Blizzard – Kavinsky’s version

Dragon Ball Z version

Rampage – Kavinsky’s version

Yes indeed, Kavinsky took these old tracks and remixed them! Where’s the creativity to copy a well known track in his ? Don’t really understand this, but perhaps both soundtracks had a special meaning for Kavinsky.

If you had a doubt that you have plunged yourself in the 80’s atmosphere, you will certainly be given a proof by the track “Testarossa Overdrive” which seems to come straight out of a resampled of Axel F – no I’m not talking about the Crazy Frog Version – by Harold Faltermeyer and for the real nostalgic under us will distinguish stubs of samples of an old Nintendo NES game. All these elements gives you a fully 8 bit touch loaded track. It’s not bad, but in some ways a little bit overloaded to my taste.

Kavinsky – Nightcall – Drive OST

In “Nightcall” one of the most beautiful electro balads of 2012, you will dive back into the movie “Drive”. In some ways you have a little Royksopp-ish touch with the typical auto tune effects.

Road game” is perhaps the most known track because it was features in the Mercedes A-Class TV advertisement, powerful electronic melody sublimed by a catchy string sample.

Kavinsky – Road Game – Mercedes Ad / 2012

Conclusion

If you are a fan of Sebastian Tellier, Sebastian, Daft Punk and of course Justice, this album is for you. It’s perhaps not so whacky (sometimes inaudible) and innovative than Sebastian’s one, but all ingredients are in there. If you are looking for a Justice alternative, this album will do it. If you are not an unconditional fan of French Touch artists but do like some of them, I would tell you to wait till Daft Punk’s new album to hear something that is going to be really fresh and following a new direction. Outrun is not THE album of the year, but it has good chances to find its place on the turntables this summer.

Final note:

3_stars_rating