Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun

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  • The allure of bedroom-produced music usually involves a degree of intimacy and naivete, as if it unveils a secret, homespun world that few have discovered. Kedr Livanskiy's January Sun exudes that feeling, with its six DIY recordings of cold, sparse synth pop. Born Yana Kedrina, the 25-year-old Russian producer and singer cites Autechre, Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada as inspirations next to Mazzy Star and MTV, though her EP only warrants surface-level comparisons to Selected Ambient Works 85-92. What's more apparent is how she distills her interests in '90s-era UK electronic music, dreamy alt-rock and radio pop into expressive snapshots of her day-to-day life, songs that sound as personal as they do vaguely familiar. If YouTube and SoundCloud are to be believed, most of January Sun was recorded about a year ago. But the music, to its credit, feels much older, like it was pilfered from a demo tape found at a garage sale. Every drum machine, synth and sample sounds like an antiquated preset, further blunted by the compression and hiss of a four-track cassette recorder. It could all come off as a contrived aesthetic if Kedrina hadn't written an array of passionate and charming songs. Lead single "Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle)" borrows the beat of "Xtal" to carry its cheap digital pads and delayed vocals, the simplicity of which becomes endearing thanks to quaint, hummable hooks. The breakbeats and trance synths in "Sgoraet (Burning Down)" are well-suited to the high drama of Kedrina's singing, and "Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word)" has no trouble making those same ideas feel fun and rave-ready. "April" closes January Sun with a glimpse of spring, evoking the seasonal thaw with its playful percussion, sunny melodies and nature sounds. Ending on that positive note makes the EP feel like it was written as a way to cope with the "terrible thing" that is Russian winter. The image of Kedrina holed up in her room with whatever gear was to hand, singing her heart out to stave off the chill outside and the cabin fever inside, pervades these songs. How each one can make you feel as if you're sitting next to her is January Sun's finest quality.
  • Tracklist
      01. Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle) 02. Winds of May 03. Sgoraet (Burning Down) 04. January Sun 05. Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word) 06. April 07. Razrushitelniy (Destructive Cycle) (Instrumental) 08. Razrushitelniy (Destructive Cycle) (Acappella)