Throughout almost a decade beneath the alias Kedr Livanskiy, Moscow’s Yana Kedrina developed a darkish, ethereal model of techno and electro pop on data like Ariadna and Your Want. With 2021’s minimalist Liminal Soul, her music turned colder, additional whetting the exhausting edges of her outsider home. However Kosaya Gora, Kedrina’s new duo undertaking with longtime collaborator Flaty—an IDM-inspired beatmaker and member of the GOST ZVUK crew who contributed mixing and manufacturing to Your Want and Liminal Soul—marks a pointy break from both artist’s earlier work. Kosogor delves into haunting guitar-driven dream pop, directly dreamily distant and deeply intimate. Kedrina transitions seamlessly from dance music, setting her voice in opposition to a dark, atmospheric backdrop.
Recorded on a cell setup in distant Russian villages, Kosogor’s moody soundscapes are easy and soaked in reverb, evoking an imagistic, Dean Blunt-like. Components of trip-hop and goth, and even hints of their techno backgrounds, flesh out a sound steeped in darkish folks. Kedrina conjures hazy photographs of bikes and demigods and baptism within the forest; she croons throughout the ambient pop of “Empty Realm” in an invented elvish dialect, and on “Dorogi Freestyle,” she sings from the attitude of a god-like determine “come down to earth from high.” Her rural fantasies play out like modern-day myths whose topics really feel simply out of focus.
The album shines when it focuses on Kedrina’s voice, not an adjunct to a beat however a necessary a part of the storytelling itself. “V Pole Na Vole” is Kosogor’s spotlight; Kedrina’s voice is highly effective but at instances vulnerably imperfect, ringing wistfully over a beat that calls again to her digital roots. The music exists in a liminal house, enjoying with immateriality in each kind and lyrics. “We forgot those words/That we wrote on the sand/They were carried away by a wave a long time ago,” Kedrina sings on “Muzika Yoln.” Some songs, like “Empty Realm” really feel intentionally skinny and incomplete; the straightforward “Voy Veter” appears like one thing heard in a dream and forgotten upon waking. This haunting environment usually works in Kosogor’s favor, however not all the time—the grinding trip-hop of “Motorcyclists Die” feels extra directionless than psychedelic, and lo-fi nearer “Milly” is fairly, however peters out and not using a sense of conclusion.
Kosaya Gora doesn’t mark an entire break with Kedrina’s earlier work; it maintains the identical dreamy repetition, hypnagogic pop influences, and reverent loneliness, however Kosogor’s sparseness appears like she’s zeroing in on one thing extra private, nonetheless blurrily.