Taken from Kedr Livanskiy’s album, Ariadna. Directed by: Konstantin Bushmanov / Kedr Livanskiy
Official music video for Ariadna by Kedr Livanskiy off her album, Ariadna, out Sept 8th on 2MR. Directed by Masha Demianova.
Moscow’s Kedr Livanskiy (real name Yana Kedrina) confesses “Synthesizers help me maximally feel the present moment.” Livanskiy was born into a shifting and critical time for Russia. The Soviet Union had exhausted and old values were anathematized because of reconstruction. A sense of displacement drove Kedr to find herself. She’s escaped reality repeatedly in her explorations into the imagery and ideas of romanticism, mythical and fairytale themes which visibly bleed throughout her work and especially on her debut full-length ‘Ariadna’.
Kedr considers this album to be divided into a couple of different parts – like how one person can contain many different moods. The first half revolves around mythological thoughts and the second takes cues from the urban and suburban environments around her, all the while in the middle of everything is the hero who experiences real feelings and emotions.
Kedr also channels the places in her neighborhood on the outskirts of Moscow (affectionately dubbed by her as “BORDER MOSCOW”). There’s a river there where identical Soviet high-rises stand on both sides, with a bridge and garbage processing plant adjacent. Where nature and industry meet. The whole scene looks very apocalyptic, but also mystical and mysterious, especially at twilight.
Her inspiration for this record comes from the Izhevsk (sometimes referred to as “the capital of Russian electronic music”) sound of the 80s, including groups like Stuk Bambuka V XI Chasov (Bamboo Crash at 11AM) and Samtsy Dronta. The movement in Russian experimental music is especially inspiring, with acts likes Valery Chkalov, Sergey Kuryokhin and Pop Mechanica; in general, the late-Soviet period was very inspiring with all its figures in music, cinema, their energy and their approach towards life and art.
‘Ariadna’ marks a change in her recording approach: her critically acclaimed breakthrough EP ‘January Sun’ was written and recorded completely in Ableton, while ‘Ariadna’ was written using the Roland SH-101, Roland Juno 106 and Korg Minilogue synthesizers, then mixed down in Ableton. According to Kedr, “This way, one gets into a flow of live interaction, here and now, with the instrument.”
To her, this interaction is more “raw and sacred” than actually mixing the track down, which seems like “mere formalism” in comparison. There is a definite leap in production values this time around, but Kedr manages to keep true to her sound despite the greater polish and depth.
This year brought Moscow’s Kedr Livanskiy’s first U.S. appearances and a well receieved debut EP that’s out now on 2MR. Today she released a video for single “Keep Your Word” via i-D who have also sat down with Kedr to discuss the concepts / creation of the video and the current wave of Russian music, art and fashion – read it here.
Livanskiy was born into a shifting and critical time for Russia. The Soviet Union had exhausted and old values were anathematized because of reconstruction. A sense of displacement drove Kedr to find herself. She joined the directing department of Moscow school of New Cinema where she learned to see the world. At the same time, electronic music fascinated her completely and was the same depth that she was looking for.
Kedr and a small circle of friends formed around a mutual interest in music – Inga Copeland, DJ Spin and DJ Rashad, Legowelt, Death Grips, Florian Kupfer, Dean Blunt and it wasn’t long until they organized their own community and DIY label known as John’s Kingdom.
No one else was doing anything that fit their aesthetic or ideals so they started throwing their own parties which exploded in attendance after only a year. For them it wasn’t just about music; but also a channel for art, videos and lifestyle. The community continues to expand and grow. Today it’s the most alive and honest thing in Moscow.
Kedr Livanskiy has unveiled “Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word)” – the second single from her upcoming debut EP ‘January Sun‘ that is out this Friday on 2MR. The track debuted with FADER who claim Kedr “makes music that sounds like it was rebuilt from ruins: her voice drifts on a cloud of echo somewhere way above, while the beat shifts and slides under your feet. Out via 2MR Records, the label headed by Mike Simonetti (formerly of Italians Do It Better & Troubleman Unltd) and Mike Sniper (Captured Tracks/Omnian Music Group).
Kedr Livanskiy is Russian for Lebanese Cedar.
The sinister synths in Sgoraet (English: Burning Down) are inspired by the otherworldliness of Russian winter; Russia in winter is a terrible thing, but it also has a strange romantic presence to it. The drum and bass coda emulates the feeling of impending death and transition to another state when winter is over one’s shoulder.
Razrushitelniy Krug’s (English: Destructive Cycle) mood is a little lighter, but it is about self-reflection becoming self-destructive in a vicious cycle. It’s not all doom and gloom; April is almost tropical in its celebration of the arrival of spring. It’s for exploring the Russian countryside after the sun has unlocked the trees, debris and dilapidated buildings frozen in time.
Out via 2MR Records, the label headed by Mike Simonetti (formerly of Italians Do It Better & Troubleman Unltd) and Mike Sniper (Captured Tracks/Omnian Music Group).