Kedr Livanskiy: Your Need review – joyful, punchy beats with a touch of tape hiss

Sung in Russian and English, Livanskiy’s more playful, deeper second album has an optimistic spirit

Kedr Livanskiy is the pseudonym of Russian musician Yana Kedrina, a DJ, producer and singer whose shoegaze-y electronic music sounds as if it has arrived in a time capsule from a retro-futurist era. Singing in Russian and English, hopping between different dance genres, and coating everything with nostalgic tape hiss, Kedrina made an indelible impression with her debut EP, January Sun, in 2016. With her much darker debut album, Ariadna (2017), she (unlike the album’s mythical near namesake) led the listener deeper into the labyrinth, combining foggy textures with synth melodies that seemed to spiral into themselves, and forlorn, wistful lyricism.

Kedr Livanskiy: Your Need album artwork
Kedr Livanskiy: Your Need album artwork Photograph: Publicity Image

After the release of Ariadna, Kedrina says she fell into a deep melancholy. She was broken out it by rediscovering a love of DJing classic house, breakbeat, and garage, and by a stint writing music with St Petersburg producer Flaty. The result is Your Need – an album that came together in the space of just two weeks. Deeper, bolder, and more playful than Ariadna, it’s a robust album that mines the past for inspiration, while rooting you bodily in the present.

Blasting open with a synth sunrise, the very first bars of the title track (and album) suggest an optimistic new dawn. Throughout the dynamic journey of the record, Kedrina places vulnerability in conversation with toughness, light with dark. The backbone of Your Need is its punchy, Roland TR-08 sequenced beats, while its joyful spirit comes in the form of vocal and Korg synth melodies that shift in and out of focus.

Lead single Kiska sets a childish vocal refrain against a relentless rhythm, and gloomy dub track Lugovoy is a moment of introspection at the midway point. By the album’s close, Kedrina has the listener locked on the dancefloor, arms in the air for the UK garage-flecked City Track and the breathless breakbeat of the stand-out closer, Ivan Kupala (New Day). If on Ariadna she seemed lost inside a maze, on Your Need, Kedrina knows exactly where she’s going.

Aimee Cliff

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Arca: KiCk i review – joyful sonic vision of what pop could be
Alejandra Ghersi’s new set is a subversive and mischievous fusion of aural fireworks and psychedelic lyricism aided by Björk, Shygirl, Rosalía and Sophie

John Twells

25, Jun, 2020 @12:00 PM

Article image
Moby: All Visible Objects review – misjudged and out of touch
Seeming to prefer penning candid memoirs to exploring new musical material, Moby’s 17th album has vitality but no novelty

Rachel Aroesti

15, May, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Cosha: Mt Pleasant review – confident and carefree come-to-bed beats
The Irish singer seizes artistic control in an album charged with heated possibilities, sensual new love and sexual self-belief

Alim Kheraj

02, Jul, 2021 @7:30 AM

Article image
Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy! review – joyful, loving testimony to black artists
Woods’s free-spirited second album pays earwormy homage to the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Eartha Kitt and Miles Davis

Aimee Cliff

10, May, 2019 @9:30 AM

Article image
Minor Science: Second Language review – expectation-defying beats
Debut album cleverly morphs and melds its 90s palette without sliding into nostalgia, but there are occasional longueurs

Tayyab Amin

03, Apr, 2020 @9:30 AM

Article image
Disclosure: Energy review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
With nightclubs closed during coronavirus, the third album from the British pop-house duo has an unwittingly mournful quality

Alexis Petridis

27, Aug, 2020 @11:00 AM

Article image
Caribou: Suddenly review – perfectly imperfect pop
Dan Snaith’s project returns after five years away to confront grief and family, beautifully warping songs that are drenched in melody

Alexis Petridis

27, Feb, 2020 @2:31 PM

Article image
Ladytron: Ladytron review – electroclash stomp of intent
The Liverpool band – now based all over the world – return with a synth stomp of protest at our times

Kate Hutchinson

15, Feb, 2019 @10:30 AM

Article image
Gorillaz: Cracker Island review – smaller, subtler, and better for it
Damon Albarn has reined in the excess – though there are still cameos from the likes of Bad Bunny and Stevie Nicks – for a trim album that is one of the band’s best

Alexis Petridis

23, Feb, 2023 @12:00 PM

Article image
The Cinematic Orchestra: To Believe review – soundscape originators' accomplished return
The sound of TCO’s tasteful electronica has become ubiquitous. This new album isn’t experimental or idiosyncratic enough to stand out

Rachel Aroesti

15, Mar, 2019 @9:30 AM