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Electronic/Dance - Released May 3, 2019 | 2MR

Russian electronic artist Kedr Livanskiy's early releases contained wintry lo-fi house and jungle tracks with supremely haunting vocal melodies which still resonate several years later. As fantastic as those records were (particularly 2016's January Sun EP), her second full-length, Your Need, outdoes them and feels like nothing less than a creative rebirth. The fog has mostly cleared, and these songs sound much brighter and sunnier. They're also shorter, poppier, and more energetic. Tracks like "Sky Kisses" and "Your Need (Deep Mix)" have pounding beats and immersive, soothing pads influenced by deep house, while "Bounce 2" and "Kiska" have a faster bump to them, informed by electro and ghetto house. "Ivan Kupala (New Day)" is more of a '90s rave flashback, with meaty breakbeats and overdriven bass. Livanskiy's vocals retain the longing quality that made them stand out before, heightened by the constant reverb and echo that cause them to dance around the speakers. "Why Love" mixes new wave drama with trippy vocal effects, and the more ballad-like "LED" showcases Livanskiy at her most passionate. Perhaps the oddest diversion is "Lugovoy (November Dub)," which submerges Russian folk singing under an aquatic dub rhythm, and somehow it works splendidly. "City Track" is another winning blend of skittering electro beats, wispy melodies, and subtly bugged-out effects. Both celebratory and melancholy, this is an exceptionally strong album which effortlessly compels repeated listens. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 27, 2019 | 2MR

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 8, 2017 | 2MR

Russian indie electronic artist Kedr Livanskiy (real name: Yana Kedrina) first came to public attention with her 2015 single "Sgoraet" and 2016 EP January Sun, both of which combined lo-fi house and jungle beats with a distinctive pop sensibility, resulting in extremely catchy Russian-language electropop tunes covered in wintry layers of echo. After January Sun received critical acclaim, Livanskiy toured extensively and upgraded her musical equipment. Instead of composing and recording everything using software program Ableton, she has a small arsenal of Roland and Korg synthesizers, allowing music-making to become more interactive. As such, the tracks on Ariadna are a bit more polished and vibrant than Livanskiy's earlier material, and certainly don't sound as frostbitten, even if chilly reverb is still present. This time out, the beats aren't quite as booming, and they lean toward electro as well as house -- there's no jungle this time around. The opening title track combines punchy beats with swirling synths and an infectious vocal hook, instantly capturing the listener's attention. The following tracks continue featuring haunting melodies, cold synth tones, and shadowy vocals, conveying feelings of isolation and longing. Eventually the album becomes a bit more playful -- "ACDC" unexpectedly features an echo-shrouded Martin Newell reciting a familiar William Blake poem before giving way to bouncy, chunky breakbeats and slightly trance-like synths. "Za Oknom Vesna" and "Love & Cigarettes" are also upbeat, tempo-wise, but there's still a persistent feeling of being subdued or shut out, as if Livanskiy is attempting to use dancing as a form of escape, but can never quite shake the loneliness. As with January Sun, Ariadna is a powerful, instantly memorable work from an exceptional artist. [The CD edition of Ariadna generously includes the entirety of the January Sun EP, which is nearly the same duration as Ariadna itself.] ~ Paul Simpson
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 19, 2016 | 2MR

Russian artist Kedr Livanskiy (born Yana Kedrina in Moscow in 1990) blends the lo-fi house sound of labels such as L.I.E.S. with a pop sensibility gleaned from a youth spent watching MTV. Similar to Negative Gemini, her music seems closer in spirit to what was dubbed "electronica" during the '90s than most 2010s-era dance music. Even though her songs were composed and recorded using Ableton, they sound like they were performed on primitive keyboards and drum machines and adorned with queasy pitch-shifting, making it sound as if her tape recorder's batteries are about to die. Drenched in echo and delay, her tracks sound as oppressively cold as her surroundings. While the booming kick drums and icy, rave-inspired melodies pull the listener in, Kedrina's yearning, almost ghostly vocals are what strike hardest. At her bleakest, she embraces harsh jungle breakbeats, as on the hair-raising conclusion to the single "Sgoraet (Burning Down)," as well as the aggressive drum'n'bass track "Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word)." "April" is much lighter, greeting the arrival of spring with joyous, childlike melodies and more playful beats, and ending with bird chatter and rushing water. Kedrina is a co-founder of Moscow-based D.I.Y. collective Johns' Kingdom, and her music feels like a transmission from a lonely, isolated soul who mainly feels connected to other people through music and art. Even though it only contains six songs (plus instrumental and a cappella versions of the opening track, "Razrushitelniy Krug [Destructive Cycle]"), January Sun still feels like a major statement. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electronic/Dance - Released April 3, 2019 | 2MR

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 9, 2018 | 2MR

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 20, 2019 | 2MR

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 20, 2015 | 2MR

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 25, 2018 | 2MR