Solveig Petersen introduces: KAVINSKY
There’s plenty of reason to get excited! This week Solveig Petersen introduces – KAVINSKY! You might’ve heard Kavinsky firstly in the movie Drive, which gave him attention among wider audience for the theme song ’Nightcall’. If you’ve never bothered to look up his older or – in light of the latest developments – new stuff, have no worries. You’re going to get an insight into the past and future endeavors of Vincent Belorgey aka KΔVIN?KY.
Vincent Belorgey was born in 1975 in France. Kavinsky, however, was unborn again as a zombie after a car crash in 1986. Although Belorgey and Kavinsky have remarkable resemblances, the two are separated by the fine line between reality and fiction.
Kavinsky crashed in a Ferrari Testarossa. But came back to life in 2006 to make electronic music. The life-altering car crash becomes the essence and central theme of the music that follows. The undead driver – Kavinsky – embodies an undying love for the road, the car, his girlfriend and 80s electro.
Let the video for the first single of Kavinsky tell you the story. The track called ’Testarossa Autodrive’ was released on the ’Teddy Boy’ EP from Record Makers in 2006. The video was directed by Jonas & François for "75" production & Anthony Thouzet.
Not bad for a first release? Actually, Belorgey got into electronic music because of friends who were already in the biz. Before music, Belorgey had tried his hand at acting, but found it boring. He got a chance to try music production when Quentin Dupieux aka Mr. Oizo, gave a discarded Apple computer to him in 2005. So it is really surprising that only a year later, he came up with something as cool as ’Testarossa Autodrive’. During this time, Belorgey had many roles in Mr.Oizo’s music videos, so he got a lot of connections with different kinds of executives and managers. He then went to the head of the Record Makers, Marc Tessier du Cros, with only the one track among other (as said in an interview) ’big sh*t music’ that he had done over the year. Cros was impressed and asked for more instantly. ’Teddy Boy’ EP was born.
Surprising with a fresh approach and a concept that’s off the hook - the first release met success. So Belorgey pursued a musical career instead of acting, and as a fan of his particular style of music, I do have to say, he did the right decision. A year later, in February 2007, the next EP ’1986’ was released. The EP consists of 5 tracks, but not the title track. The resemblance to 80’s driving movie soundtracks appealed to video game makers. So ’Testarossa Autodrive (SebastiAn remix)’ was chosen to 'Grand Theft Auto IV' and ’Wayfarer’ was featured in ’Midnight Club: Los Angeles’. Touring with the likes of Justice, Daft Punk and SebastiAn was to follow.
Belorgey rarely gives interviews. But there’s one from 2011 he gave to Angie Mendoza of VidiVici TV. In this interview the French electronic misterioso producer talked about the concept of his alter ego and how it came into being:
Q:“Your music has been compared to a lot of 80s flicks & soundtracks, and your fictional character goes really well with that. Were there any movies that inspired you to make your music?“
A:„Yes, actually there is a lot, a lot, lot, lot. So much I can’t even count. I can say about 10,000 movies inspired me when I was a young boy. I used to watch a lot of TV when I was young. And for my character I made, at the time, my producer say “okay, what’s the concept? Is it going to be you on the cover, like, with a big smile, saying hey that’s me? Listen to my music. Do you have a concept or something?” I say, ”No, , I have a concept.” There is a zombie and he is cruising in his Testarossa, which had a car accident in 1986. He was killed at this time and they are just cruising together, like Michael and Kit from Night Rider. And actually it’s just a big mix from 10,000 TV shows and movies that I used to watch when I was young. I just took every good part and put it into one concept.“
The same interview revealed that Kavinsky doesn’t actually consider himself a musician as he hasn’t really had any musical education and plays the piano with two fingers. Also, if he were to be asked to do a soundtrack, he said it’d be like a dream to do a Rob Zombie movie, because he’s a big horror movie fan ...obviously. Another cool fact: the entire Teddy Boy EP was written and recorded on Yamaha DX7, which was famous for the synth-pop sounds in 80’s (read the whole interview here)
The feature is mostly about Kavinsky as a producer, but not Belorgey as a DJ. Obliviously, Belorgey started as a producer first and then climbed on stage as a DJ. Just to give you an idea, we’ll bring you a clip of his DJ-set from Social Club, Paris in 2011. There’s some hick-ups here and there, but you’ll get the urge to bust some moves to the beats of one of the best of France’s thriving electro house scene.
After ’1986’ in 2007, Belorgey continued in the same pace – one EP per year. In 2008, ’Blazer’ saw the light of the day. It was released from Fool’s Gold Records and consisted of 4 tracks. ’1986’ is firstly featured on this EP, other than that, there’s no new material on this one.
Now, when I said Drive (2011) got Kavinsky wider recognition, I held in mind that after the movie, his single ’Nightcall’ got over 25 million Youtube views. The single had been released already in 2010 as the title track of the EP. That goes to show how significant movie soundtracks really are. There all-important for the success of the movie, but also a chance for relatively unknown artists to achieve wider audience. As for the EP, it consisted of ’Nightcall’ and ’Pacific Coast Highway’, plus remixes of both tracks by guys like Dustin N’Guyen, Jackson, Breakbot, Robotaki and SAWAGii). For the first time, Kavinsky incorporates vocals on his track. Obviously it was a success commercially, but also critically one must admit that these 2 tracks give evidence of artistic maturity having been achieved.
Early in 2012, Kavinsky released a single called ’Road Game’. Belorgey didn’t disappoint as he continued to cultivate his hard-hitting driving music on this one. The track is finding new listeners again in the end of the year, after the hugely successful ’Hitman Absolution’ video game was released just a little while ago.
To finish things off, let’s take look what the future holds for the zombie-cruiser. About a week ago, the first teaser of the first full-length album of Kavinsky was published. The album named ’Outrun’ is set to release in the first half of 2013. Already hyped as ’probably the best electro house album since ’Alive’ by Daft Punk.' Meanwhile, the teaser – a video showing the Testarossa in real life, cruising the hell out of the streets of LA and cruising the hell away from LAPD - all for the first single ’Protovision.’ Enjoy the latest production from the french electro powerhouse and start getting excited for what’s to come! The visual masterpiece is directed by Marcus Herring.
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