'This new Kavinsky track makes me want to fight crime' tweeted a fan a few weeks back, perhaps referring to the single 'Protovision', released in early February ahead of first full-length album Outrun. It's the kind of track that you'd listen to whilst driving a tank with a Ferrari engine under the bonnet through the walls of buildings, should you ever get the chance.

French producer Jean Belorgey has gone to some effort to create a specific visual and aural identity for Kavinsky, the semi-fictional character that he puts his work out under, using a number of cultural reference points from the 1980s. The mysterious driver, clad in shades, baseball jacket, jeans and white hi-tops, inhabits a late night metropolitan landscape illuminated by lurid neon bar signs and the red trail of rear lights – perfect for the sultry retro-futurist electro house that the artist has built something of an enigmatic reputation around.

As the story goes, after crashing his Testarossa in 2006, the man Kavinsky emerged into the world reincarnated as a zombie. Alienated and misunderstood, his girlfriend having moved on following the accident, the character turned to making electronic music as a means of expressing his story.

It's mad stuff of course, and the reality is that when The 405 speaks to the producer as part of his promo drive for Outrun, Belorgey is smoking in the cold outside his London hotel, eager to get this last interview of the day over as a busy schedule awaits.

"So, now the album is finished, I'm heading into the studio to prepare it for going big live – a DJ set, visuals etc. I'm going to Berlin for an exclusive pre-launch release party, then back in London for the UK launch on 2 March, before Los Angeles, New York then back to Paris… in one piece hopefully."

This flurry of activity comes after a relatively quiet stretch of eight years for the producer, who has been making music in his current guise for eight years or so, releasing individual tracks and remixes and maintaining a relatively low profile. Quite an achievement considering that 'Nightcall', a searing downtempo electro number that was selected as the title track for stylish 2011 movie Drive, has just hit 30 million views on YouTube. Indeed that track plus 'Testarossa Autodrive', 'Deadcruiser' and 'Grand Canyon' which featured on previously released EPs Teddy Boy, 1986 and Blazer are also on the album alongside newer material. So how much of Outrun is fresh, recent Kavinsky?

"Well, tracks like 'Protovision', 'Odd Look', 'Rampage' and 'Surburbia' are new whereas some of the others are around six or seven years old. They all have the same energy yet are a little different from 'Nightcall'. I wanted to present myself as much as I was seven years ago as now which is why those tracks from the past are included. Of course the sound has changed a bit from working with different people too. But they definitely all have the same energy."

Kavinsky's sound, dominated by big synth melodies and fierce beats, has frequently been compared to Daft Punk's, a resemblance that may be more intentional than accidental given the production credits on 'Nightcall' belong to Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, one half of the French duo.

Digging deeper, for those of us who grew up on a diet of 1980s TV shows like Knightrider and Miami Vice, feature films such as Back To The Future and Beverley Hills Cop, and the futuristic sounds of synth pop artists New Order, The Human League and Depeche Mode, Kavinsky's music walks the line between the soundtrack of childhood all-action hero dreams, the output of classic electronic artists like Giorgio Moroder and Cluster, and the contemporary edge of Chromatics, Justice and Crystal Castles.

In a 2007 interview, Kavinsky revealed that he had made all his music on a Yamaha DX7 digital synthesiser but in answer to if Outrun was also produced on just one instrument or whether new kit came into play, the producer is clear.

"I really hate to plug equipment. I don't like to post photos of new setups on Facebook or show off. Everything is on my computer - I've had good friends playing guitar on this album, but the rest of it is just me, myself and my producer. But no heavy equipment, it's mostly all home-made."

Taking the coolest parts of a decade known for an abundance of shoulder pads and hairspray, the album – overseen by fellow Parisian producer Sebastian - is unashamedly all about the supercars, clothes, girls, arcade games, movies and computers.

Where tracks like 'Blizzard', 'Protovison' and the storming 'Rampage' (which bears a resemblance to Justice song 'Stress') are big Top Gear on amphetamine bruisers, paeans to machines with engines with 400 horsepower and raw pulling power on the streets of wherever the hell it is that Kavinsky lives, there is the softer and lighter work of 'Odd Look', 'Nightcall' and 'Deadcruiser' – suitable for cruise control mode whilst you're wrestling with the blonde you picked up at that cocktail bar, or a massive mobile telephone prototype.

If the album has a low point, it's the one-track diversion into hip-hop on 'Suburbia'; a flat effort not lifted much by rhymes from Mobb Deep MC Havoc. Uninspiring lyrics like "I come to life when I'm driving, see the city lights… buckle up, you are now riding with a star… fuck a Twitter follow, I'm paper chasin'" are an unnecessary distraction to the record's flow.

Yet where that brief detour from a clear overall style and quality fails, 'Grand Canyon' which features a sample from 'Another Life' by Italo-Disco band Kano and the guitar-driven 'First Blood' (one of just a few tracks with vocals) succeed, getting Outrun back on the straight and narrow before the string melodies, piano chords and four to the floor beat of 'Roadgame' segues into to the Morricone-like outro 'Endless' complete with voiceover charting the 'legend of the Deadcruiser'.

Though Kavinsky's music is firmly rooted in the electro house genre, wider influences are apparent from time to time as the producer points out. "My tastes are eclectic I think. I'm listening to French Montana and Tangerine Dream at the moment. When I listen to music and it gets too much I'll change it completely from the rock universe to the rap universe – that keeps me alive."

In line with his love of the car, the very title of the album is homage to one of the most popular games of the Eighties – Sega's 1986 driving simulator Outrun, which broke new ground at its release thanks to an innovative build and cutting-edge graphics and music. "I spent a lot of time and money playing it – this is me saying hello to Yu Suzuki who created Outrun."

For those new to Kavinsky's music, the debut record is a neat introduction to the potential of the excellent and hopefully still flourishing French electro scene. For those familiar with the producer's music, well, here's an album that neatly wraps up previously-released killer songs with new material for a thirteen track joyride that has an exceptional level of cool and consistency in the main, albeit taken a while to arrive. And of his eight years, what has Kavinsky learnt?

"The best way to cruise – that's why you never see him. He's always behind you."

By our reckoning, and considering the power and torque of this first album, Kavinsky is way, way in front.


Outrun is out now. You can visit Kavinsky by heading here.