Ferrari Testarossa Steals the Spotlight in Kavinsky’s ‘ProtoVision’: Music Monday
French progenitor of synthwave pits his red Ferrari Testarossa against hapless cop in cat-and-zombie chase through the city.
Welcome to Team Speed Music Monday, where we feature music videos from our jukebox where the cars steal the spotlight from the stars.
Some time in the middle New ’10s, a music genre emerged from the Internet. This genre was drenched in neon lights and tropical sunsets, fueled by synthesizers and drum machines, and wore pastel suits and sunglasses at night. That genre is known by many names, but most know it as synthwave.
Vincent Pierre Claude Belorgey, otherwise known as Kavinsky, is a French electronic musician who codified the sound and look of synthwave in the late 2000s and early 2010s via his undead persona: a high school kid who died in his red Ferrari Testarossa in an accident, then coming back from the dead to reunite with his high school sweetheart, a la the 1986 film The Wraith. And today, we follow Kavinsky as he leads a hapless cop towards uncertain doom in the 2012 single, “ProtoVision.”
“The hardest thing is to choose a name for your entire album because it’s the start of everything,” Kavinsky told Dazed back in March 2013. “The game Outrun was one of the first steps of the story: there’s the guy, the sea, the car, and a test. On my arm I have a tattoo: ‘Dead Cruiser.’ That’s the name of Kavinsky, he’s the dead cruiser. It was my first tattoo, and at the time I didn’t have enough cash to pay for it in the tattoo parlour, so DJ Medhi lent me the money. It was my first.”
Kavinsky is not only a fan of Testarossas (that red one is his in real life), but a fan of cinematic chase scenes, like those in Bullitt and The Blues Brothers. Through the filter of the Eighties, his undead persona swings the Ferrari through the dark night, somehow unable to shake off the Ford Mustang II chasing him.
Speaking of films, Kavinsky contributed “Nightcall” from the 2010 EP of the same name to the 2011 film Drive, featuring Ryan Gosling. One of the few of his songs with lyrics, “Nightcall” adds more to the Kavinsky mythos, explaining what has happened to him since his fateful crash and return from the grave.
“But I don’t want people to think that my music is just all about cars,” Kavinsky said. “Of course there is a background story of the Dead Cruiser character, but that’s just an excuse to make music about it. I like way that Damon Albarn did Gorillaz. I don’t want people to buy the music of Vincent Belorgey. I want people to buy a world with a story, with imagery, with music.”