“Razrushitelniy Krug” is taken from Kedr Livanskiy‘s debut EP, January Sun, out February 19 on 2MR.
Her name translates to “cedar of Lebanon” but the images she conveys are far from being as physical and warm as tall sacred trees from the Middle East. The kind of flora that lives inside Kedr Livanskiy‘s music is more like the grey forests fighting against the urban sprawl at the border between Moscow and the countryside.
Borders are fertile ground for Yana Kedrina. Born in 1990, when a crumbling Soviet Union was about to turn into the unbridled bipolar chaos of modern Russia, she spent her formative years at the junction between MTV and self-discovery. The result was another bifurcation: she found herself through both image and sound. At the dawn of her twenties, she joined the directing department of the Moscow School of New Cinema. At the same time, the love she and her group of friends shared for electronic music lead to the creation of the community and DIY label John’s Kingdom, which quickly became one of the leading forces in Russia’s flourishing underground scene and “the most alive and honest thing in Moscow”.
It was by pure accident that Kedr‘s music made the jump from local to international. M2R, the imprint born out of the partnership between Mike Simonetti formerly of Italians Do It Better and Mike Sniper of Captured Tracks, offered her a record deal after stumbling onto the icy and ominous “Сгорает” on SoundCloud.
“Разрушительный Круг” (“destructive cycle”) is the second cut from her debut EP, aptly titled “Солнце Января” (“January Sun”). Frozen electro-pop veined by a gorgeous web of small cracks, it lets its inspirations shine through but with softer edges and bluer tones, as if you were looking through a sheet of ice. You can hear Autechre, Aphex Twin, Inga Copeland, Boards of Canada, a dash of Mazzy Star‘s moodiness and the same sensibility for pop structures that Grimes has (and curiously enough, in an endearing case of cultural cross-pollination, Pushkin is a big influence on the Canadian while Kedr spent her teenage years reading Washington Irving).