Album of the Day: Kedr Livanskiy, “Ariadna (ариадна)”
By Robert Ham · September 05, 2017 Merch for this release:
Cassette, 2 x Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD), Vinyl LP

In a recent interview, Yana Kedrina, the producer and vocalist who releases music under the name Kedr Livanskiy, described Soviet Union-era Russia as being almost entirely closed off to the cultural innovations happening around the world. “Music revolutions were taking place everywhere,” she said. “None of that passed through to us.” Thanks to the Internet, hungry artists like herself have been catching up fast, fostering a vibrant electronic scene that incorporates an array of styles and voices.

As heard on her previous EP January Sun and her new album Ariadna (both on 2MR Records), Kedrina’s spirit aligns with the pinched, analog sound of early acid house and hip-hop. That came through clearly enough on her raw Ableton-constructed work, but those influences have sunk in deeper on her full-length as she now has vintage synths like the Roland Juno-106 and the Korg Minilogue at her disposal.

Ariadna has the same pulse and drive as the foundational singles by A Guy Called Gerald or Mr. Fingers that are touchstones here; it’s just being used for cloudier, poppier ends. The intoxicating title track and the heady allure of “Love & Cigarettes” feel ticklish and teasing, furtive embraces bathed in colorful neon light. “Za Oknom Vesna” and “Sunrise Stop” are dancefloor bangers pulled back to earth by the Nico-like remove Kedrina brings to her vocals. And the whole LP is rendered with a lo-fi luster, as if to mimic the feel of a cheaply-produced, bass-heavy 12” from 30 years ago. Capturing the mood of the past and that of the future is a rare feat, but Kedrina has found the path connecting the two and has found her musical voice there.

Robert Ham

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