On a cold rainy night, a well-dressed man sits behind a desk smoking a cigar. Illuminated by the neon skyline that surrounds his office, he wipes blood from his shirt and counts stacks of money. Suddenly, a thunderous roar and flash of lightning cut all power from the city and the office is plunged into darkness.
The man looks to the elevator doors slowly opening across from him and notices a white haze leaking from the cabin. As the doors fully open and the smoke envelops the office, a faint figure can be seen. The man reaches for his gun but before he can open his drawer, he sees the piercing red eyes of Kavinsky shine through the smoke and realizes that his fate is sealed.
After nine years, the iconic French producer has awakened from his eternal slumber. Wiping the dirt from his letterman jacket, he pulls out a Walkman, equips his headphones, and inserts a tape titled Reborn. The first song, “Pulsar,” plays as our hero begins walking through the neon-soaked streets. A gentle, but driving beat carries him onward as the intricate synth lines cut through the track like lightning in the night sky.
He approaches a storage unit and lifts open the rusted door as the second track begins to play. Created in collaboration with Romuald, the lyrics of “Reborn” soundtrack Kavinsky’s grand return as he looks to the contents of the unit. The unmistakable lights of a police car shine behind him as he rips off a cover revealing a bright red Ferrari Testarossa. Dashing into the vehicle, he fires up the engine and inserts the cassette tape. “Renegade” (with Cautious Clay, Victor Le Masne, and Gaspard Augé of Justice) blares from the speakers as he peels out of the complex leaving the cops in his dust.
Realizing his enemies have not forgotten him, the synth medley from “Trigger” accelerates at the same rate as his supercar. Looking through the rearview mirror and seeing no one on his tail, he relaxes back into his seat as “Goodbye” with Sebastien Tellier begins. A moving ballad, the piano-led melody and soft vocals create a feeling of deep self-reflection as he travels along the pacific coast highway.
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Approaching the dystopian capital, the catchy hook from “Plasma” with Morgan Phalen energizes our hero as he looks to the wasteland created by the sinister conglomerate that rules the city. Pulling into a nightclub just outside of town, Kavinsky meets with an old friend as “Cameo” (with Kareen Lomax) packs the dancefloor. “You always make a cameo,” says the lyrics as the elusive being makes his way to the VIP room. “Zenith” (with Prudence and Morgan Phalen) comes from the speakers as Kavinsky enjoys his first moment of rest since his reincarnation. The smooth, funky combination of guitar, bass, and vocals makes for the perfect track to enjoy with a late-night glass of champagne.
With his spirit restored, he looks to the foreboding skyscraper overlooking the city and affirms what must be done. Switching back to his headphones, “Vigilante” (with Phalen) blares as he sprints through the streets. “One thing you should know. I’m going to make these streets mine,” sings on as he looks around him at the desolation created in the name of profit. “Zombie” takes over as he enters the ground floor of the building. High-speed, twinkling synth choreographs each punch as he dispatches the guards standing in his way and makes his way to the elevator.
After taking down the boss and walking down the stairs, he flicks his cigarette at the doors as the building erupts behind him. “Outsider” is playing as he walks back to his car. Even more masterfully-crafted synth work is on display as the track hits an infectious groove at its peak. Compiling all of the action and excitement Kavinsky faced on Reborn, the gentle piano closer leads way to the final chapter in the tale, “Horizon.”
Downtempo and replete with electric guitar, and with help from the famed French band Phoenix, soft-spoken robotic vocals walk Kavinsky through the graveyard as he stands over his grave. Looking upon the burning skyscraper resting in the sunrise, his ghostly blue skin begins to burn in the morning sun as he realizes this world is not for him. Reborn‘s conclusion provides a delicate end to our hero’s story as he crawls back into his coffin and closes the lid, only to return when he’s needed again.
“After the sudden success of ‘Nightcall,’ I didn’t really want to record again,” Kavinsky said in a press statement. “I took two steps back and started to imagine what I was going to record after that, at my own pace. The break allowed people to forget about me for a little bit so that when I felt ready to return, I could perhaps try new things.”
You can download and stream Reborn here.