On Sgoraet (Burning Down), Kedr Livanskiy’s debut 12-inch on 2MR, the Russian producer gives the world a cold and haunting study of ourselves. In every note she plays, every beat that pulsates, and in every word she beautifully sings, the icy dark winter of her homeland pierces a listener’s sense of self.
That’s actually what’s “burning down” here: An idea of who we are, or perhaps a governing sense of the typical self. And it’s a cold flame that carries out this necessary act, scorching its way through us as we take in this minimalism Kedr Livanskiy provides.
Then, after we’re lulled in by those hypnotic vox, wavering synths, and simple backbeat, she tosses in a spastic drum-and-bass coda that twists the knife and ends our old lives.
The four-song EP also includes an instrumental and a cappella version of “Sgoraet.” The closing song, “On the Road Again,” is equally dark and lo-fi, but it also has more of a groove to it. After we rough out a winter in the Taiga, “Road” gives us a chance to shake off our slumber and really try on this new understanding we have about ourselves.
Most of 2MR’s releases so far have been important, but Kedr Livanskiy’s life experience in post-Soviet Russia has saddled her music with a sort-of spiritual adhesive that allows it to stick with you.
Buy the digital versions, or pre-order the vinyl, on 2MR’s website.