Russian artist Kedr Livanskiy (born Yana Kedrina in Moscow in 1990) blends the lo-fi house sound of labels such as L.I.E.S. with a pop sensibility gleaned from a youth spent watching MTV. Similar to Negative Gemini, her music seems closer in spirit to what was dubbed "electronica" during the '90s than most 2010s-era dance music. Even though her songs were composed and recorded using Ableton, they sound like they were performed on primitive keyboards and drum machines and adorned with queasy pitch-shifting, making it sound as if her tape recorder's batteries are about to die. Drenched in echo and delay, her tracks sound as oppressively cold as her surroundings. While the booming kick drums and icy, rave-inspired melodies pull the listener in, Kedrina's yearning, almost ghostly vocals are what strike hardest. At her bleakest, she embraces harsh jungle breakbeats, as on the hair-raising conclusion to the single "Sgoraet (Burning Down)," as well as the aggressive drum'n'bass track "Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word)." "April" is much lighter, greeting the arrival of spring with joyous, childlike melodies and more playful beats, and ending with bird chatter and rushing water. Kedrina is a co-founder of Moscow-based D.I.Y. collective Johns' Kingdom, and her music feels like a transmission from a lonely, isolated soul who mainly feels connected to other people through music and art. Even though it only contains six songs (plus instrumental and a cappella versions of the opening track, "Razrushitelniy Krug [Destructive Cycle]"), January Sun still feels like a major statement.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson