Kavinsky – ‘1986’

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Kavinsky is the alter-persona of French electro-house artist Vincent Belorgey. Kavinsky’s second extended play is titled “1986.”

Most of Kavinsky’s songs are solely instrumental. The first track, “Wayfarer,” fades in with a synthy, upbeat riff that’s repeated throughout the song. This was my least favorite song on the album, and it’s one that I’d only listen to for background music. It’s too long for its repetitiveness, and although repetition is a key factor in electronic music, I think this one had too little variation.

“Dead Cruiser” is a very well-composed song. It started with an 8-bit video game sounding part, and as the song continued, more layers of instrumentation were added to it. There was a real 80s vibe to this track, and this song had a lot going on within it, which made it really interesting.

The next song is a remix done by “SebAstian” of “Testarossa Autodrive” and “Testarossa Night Drive,” off of Kavinsky’s first album. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t a fan of the intro.

I didn’t really like how the percussion sounds in the beginning, but as the song went on, it got better. I liked the original Testarossa songs better, but the remix was listenable and parts of it were interesting. In the middle of the song, there was a part where all the instrumentation cuts out, except for the main repeating riff. Then, the percussion came back in and the song built up again. I thought that this was a really well done part of the song. I didn’t think this remix was particularly unique, though.

The focus of “Flashback” is not music, but the spoken words over a quieter line of music. The spoken words appear to be a news report about a car crash. Here, we get a good idea of what the storyline of the album is; we know from the previous song titles (“Dead Cruiser” and “Testarossa”) that a car is involved in the storyline, and in this track, we find out that the car has crashed.

“Grand Canyon” is the last track on this album. “Flashback” fades into it well, but “Grand Canyon” has a somewhat happier tone to it at first. This was another one of the best tracks from the album; it has a strong beat and a catchy riff. It is the perfect song to end this album.

I give this album 4 out of 5 stars. What’s so great about this album is that despite it being instrumental aside from one song, we are able to get an idea of a storyline based only on the song titles and the music. I think a few of the songs, like “Wayfarer,” could use a little more variation within the song. If you like electronic music, give this a listen.