The year was 2010 when an electro-house song by Kavinsky (Vincent Belorgey) called “Nightcall” became an underground sensation & introduced many people to the dark side of electronic music. In a modern era where pop-oriented house songs have dominated the airwaves, his sound was a deliberate throwback to the noirish, synthy sounds of the 1980s. It was night music; not the type that you dance to in a nightclub, but rather the stuff you listen to while driving home to a lonely apartment. It is great mood music, which is why it appeared in movies like Drive & Lincoln Lawyer.
“Nightcall” is a song about a man, presumably Kavinsky, who makes a call to his girlfriend from a phone booth. The song opens up with the sound of a coin dropping into a phone slot, followed by the pressing of the push-buttons & a wolf howling in the background. This lets the listener know the setting: night time in a phone booth. It continues in they lyrics, which are about driving “all through the night” & going “someplace dark.”
Vincent Belorgey (born July 31, 1975), known professionally as Kavinsky, is a French musician, producer & DJ. His production style is very reminiscent of the electropop film soundtracks of the 1980s. Kavinsky claimed that his music is inspired by thousands of movies he watched as a young boy & that he has cherry-picked the best parts from them, consolidating them into one concept. Kavinsky has been compared to many similar French house artists including Daft Punk & Danger. He achieved greater mainstream recognition after his song "Nightcall" was featured in the 2011 film Drive.
Kavinsky’s whole style - sonic & visual - is straight out of the 80s, according to the origin story of the character as created by Belorgey. The fictional story is that Kavinsky died in 1986 after crashing his red Ferrari Testarossa. He returned from the grave twenty years later & began making electronic music. Kavinsky looks like a character from a 1980s film: he always wears sunglasses (even at night) to cover the red light that emanates from his pupils, white tennis shoes, faded jeans & a red letterman’s jacket. The “K” on his jacket always appears backwards.
The look of Kavinsky was set up on his first EP, Teddy Boy. On the comic book inspired artwork, Kavinsky appeared in a in full uniform in front of a Testarossa. The background & typeface is resembles the neon, technoir visions of 80s fictional future worlds. And of course, the Testarossa was a the epitome of speed & futuristic design in the 80s. The Kavinsky persona has continually been refined with each new album cover, poster and music video. It’s taken on a life of its own and has spread into every project he does.