May 3 Moscow electronics girl Yana Kedrina, aka Kedr Livanskiy, released a new disc "Your Need" on the American label 2MR. By his own admission, before starting work on the album, the musician went through a crisis of creative identity. We talked with Yana about how to cope with a difficult period with the help of friends and DJing and record new songs - about rebirth and love for music.
INTERVIEW: Nikita Velichko
In your interviews, the image of the forest where you need to "go with a sword and overcome your fears" has often surfaced. The new album is dedicated to "fighting spirit, even courage and courage." Did you have to go to the forest again every time?
In previous albums, I felt like an almost romantic hero who moves away from the world, sees it in gray tones and perceives life as a struggle. In "Ariadne" this motive - lost, loneliness - is the main one. Six months after "Ariadne" were quite tough, precisely because I tried to be on my own, did not want to communicate with anyone.
The new album is completely different. Something clicked in my head, and I realized that I no longer want to be alone. People appeared - Zhenya Flaty, with whom we were writing the album, and another friend of mine - who stirred me up and showed that you can also find strength in connecting with the world. It is not necessary to go to the forest alone: there are friends, like-minded people, musicians nearby. With the help of others, I got out of depression and realized that there was no need to perceive life only as a struggle. This is a struggle, but more with oneself, and not with the world. I no longer want to fight the world - on the contrary, I want to open up to it.
The new album has this theme: the fountain burst, and everything that was accumulating pressed - bam! - and fired. It's more about a breakthrough, about freedom. You no longer want to die in your reflection, you finally left the labyrinth forest. This is a period of such manic agony - burning and openness. All ten days that we wrote the album, it was such a feeling.
Why did you want loneliness?
Despite the fact that I am an open person, this openness has always been given to me with great difficulty, and only I knew how. I was experiencing everything inside myself. You can say that I liked to suffer. When you are in this state, you are absorbed in it and see no other way. I'm not saying that everything is cool and smooth now, but it was a very important step towards looking at things from a different angle. The very struggle with oneself is now directed towards the light - the future is no longer so frightening.
The song "Ivan Kupala (New Day) (Ivan kupala)" is about this in many ways, I think
Yes. But this is not a positive song, it feels like every time you go to this through overcoming. She touches me because she has this breakdown and faith. Faith is needed - Yegor Letov said that without faith you can't even nail a nail to the wall. This is very important, otherwise the darkness will suck you in and you won't be able to do anything at all. There will be no music, nothing, you will just sit under the covers. This is not cool.
Isn't it scary to release an album that old listeners may not understand? You also wrote in the comments on VK: “Guys! You haven't heard the album yet. It will be an ass break. "
I probably worried before that the gap between the past albums and the current one is so big. Although for me personally, this abyss does not exist, because I understand what I am doing. In "The Sun of January" and "Ariadne" I spoke as fully as possible about that period of my life. Now I wanted to share something completely different, for example, that I am a fan of music - both electronic and non-electronic - I am looking for a bunch of everything and am interested in a different sound. It's such an ode to music.
Directions and genres are intertwined in the album, and I like that it is different. The artist should change in general, and the music should change - it's strange if you are marking time. To prepare a listener who may not be able to get into the song "Kiska", I actively record mixes and post sets.I want to show that there is, for example, a huge layer of Brazilian sound and Kiska was inspired by this sound.
Many who have listened to me before may not like it, but for me this is not an indicator - I am sure of what I did. Moreover, I gained confidence in what I want to do in the future. This is a very cool sensation, meaningful or something. But this does not mean that all the albums will continue to be danceable. Maybe I'll write a folk album when I'm tired of all this. There are already such thoughts.
HOW HAS THIS FOLK THEME APPEARED - YOU BECAME INTERESTED TO EXPLORE YOUR ROOTS?
I do everything intuitively. Let's say that the song "Ivan Kupala" contains Prodigy patterns, Indian samples, and even a Russian canvas. My roots are strong in me, because I spent my childhood in the village with my grandmother. She had six sisters: we constantly went to the bathhouse and after that we gathered at the table, drank tea and sang folk songs in several voices. Childhood was imprinted, and now it is breaking through. It’s not that I’m arguing: "So, here we need to integrate such and such a Slavic leitmotif …". It is itself. And I'm glad, because it makes the music wider, more voluminous. “Every person is like a tree, he is from here and nowhere else,” - as BG sang in the song “Captain Voronin”. I like to combine traditions, it comes out very naturally - and my Western listeners also appreciate this, because they feel authentic.
YOU SAID EARLIER THAT YOU DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A MUSICIAN BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY LOUD WORD - and you are very serious about the matter. BUT RECENTLY WRITTEN WHAT I REALIZED: YOUR PROFESSION IS A MUSICIAN
I used to run away from problems, I was constantly drinking at parties. But recently I realized: this life is leading me to the bottom. I realized that for a long time I had been struggling with my problems with the help of alcohol, just drowned out the neurotic thought process, plunging into the abyss of depression. I didn’t live and didn’t get joy from life. Not even joy - I was constantly inside a labyrinth, from which no Ariadne would lead.
I started to rethink life and change things. I began to accept reality, accept myself in it and treat myself more respectfully, listen to myself. Having looked at the situation openly, I realized that I was really a musician. Why am I not worthy of this title? Music is what I do and will do. I am not saying that I am a brilliant musician, but I am a musician.
YOU SAID THAT DJING BECAME A SALVATION FOR YOU, THAT WERE OUT OF LONELY. WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST IN DJ SETS?
For a long time, techno parties were important to me - it was cool to be loaded, dark. But I realized that if you always suffer, it does not mean that you are more spiritual. I don't like festivals anymore where techno or electro plays for two hours in a row and everyone is like a zombie stoned - that's not my thing now.
I love the variety in sets. I like to mix different music - to have jungle, to have house, to have a baseline, ukei-grime - such a mix of everything, but for people to dance and enjoy. There are a lot of difficult things in life, but I want people, when they unite at a party, to be truly open to each other and so that the set is not so cheerful, but diverse. He also sets the mood. The collective conscience and what society speaks influences how people feel, and I want people to feel better. I don't do fun sets, but they do groove like basketball. I like the 80s approach more - something lighter.
The album seemed to me less textual compared to the past. Is this due to the fact that lyrics generally began to play a lesser role in your life?
No, I even started reading more. It was just a euphoric state, very active, it was also difficult to cope with it, the soil flew out from under my feet. Therefore, there are a lot of dance tracks, and you can't put a lot of text in them. But there is one lyrical, dramatic song that is completely textual. There are also pain points, for example, the fully instrumental track "Bounce 2" conveys an alarm state.There is a sense of faith in a new day - this is "Ivan Kupala". The album came out absolutely situational.
I used to write material for a year, then put it together, finalize and release an album. And this one was done in ten days. And these days I experienced an absolutely incredible range of feelings: I was *** [bursting with] super love for the world to the point that it became scary. At the same moment I parted with a guy - the song "Ice" was born. Such a mix. Previously, there was one leitmotif - loneliness - but here it is like a mini-film in which the hero experiences many different emotions.
WHERE DOES THIS STATE OF SUPERLOVE COME FROM?
This is a very interesting story. I was in a personal crisis, a lot of fears arose, the music stopped writing. Once I came to visit Ildar Zainetdinov, who is in charge of GOST Sound, and Flaty was there as well. Ildar was then my booker, and they started asking me: “Well, listen, Cedar, what do you think next, what do you want? How do you plan everything? " I was in such a state that these simple questions killed me. I say: “I don’t know at all who I am. I don't understand what I want. " And Flaty, a very cool musician, decided to help me. Says: "Cedar, let's record a single together." To somehow stir me up.
As a result, he came from St. Petersburg and stayed with me for two weeks, and instead of writing a single, we started making an album. Before that, we were almost strangers - we saw each other a couple of times. And so I live with a person whom I don't know well, and we write music for eight hours, then talk for eight hours on personal and musical topics, then listen to music again. My closeness seemed to have been cut with a knife: it was a very vulnerable state, very delicate, but I got in touch with myself. One click - and everything poured out and could not stop.
Reality turned upside down. I realized how important communication is: the person next to you can reveal a potential in you that you yourself did not notice. I heard what really was in me - everything was born in our tandem. The way out of that state happened thanks to friends: I found the strength to express what, perhaps, I had wanted for a long time, but was afraid alone.
YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH ANOTHER LABEL, AND NOT ONLY YOUR 2MR. WHY?
All labels work differently. I have one process with my label - I'm interested in how relationships are built on other labels. This is not only about releases, but also about human connection. I think this is an opportunity to talk to a different audience. 2MR is one audience, Ninja Tune is another. This is a space for experimentation. I respect some labels, and it would be a childlike pleasure for me to be published on them. There was a time, they wrote to me from the Warp saber, from Ninja Tune, and I dynamic these letters, because I can not be published under a contract. Psychologically, this limits: the more you can’t, the more you want to be freer. My current three-album contract is about to expire. I want to stay on my label, because they have a very reverent attitude towards me, and I have towards them, but I would prescribe the possibility of releases in other places - EP, for example. It would be great.
"KISKA" IS AN ANSWER TO THE HATERS. WHAT? DO YOU OFTEN ENCOUNTER SEXISM AT YOUR ADDRESS?
There is one portal called The Flow. Do you know this?
YES, THERE IS INTERESTING COMMENTS
I just love it! I don't know why, but from the very first releases they write about my music there. And from the very first releases, they wildly poured shit on me there, incredibly beautiful and sophisticated. But I am not offended, because this is a completely different audience, for me in general from a different planet. But there are, of course, sexist comments. Sometimes, someone says something on the case, but sometimes: "You are some kind of stupid!" What are you guys talking about? We're talking about music here! Specifically on this resource, I came across such a hat.
As for the rest … Actually, this is not really the answer to haters. I wanted to release something diametrically different from the previous one as the first single. And with this I proved to myself that I do not care about the reaction at all.I understood that many people would not understand this. But I wanted not to like it, but immediately make it clear that everything is a new era. Other music.
YOU SPEAKED MANY TIMES ABOUT PUSHKIN, LETOV AND KURYOKHIN AS VERY IMPORTANT FIGURES FOR YOU. ARE THERE A WOMEN WHO INSPIRES YOU?
There are a lot of them! As a child, I was most inspired by actress Christina Ricci, precisely because I was a very dark goth girl, and she starred in films like Sleepy Hollow, The Addams Family, Buffalo 66.
Many women musicians admire me today. Kate Bush, for example, is a delight. Mazzy Star, The Real Roxanne. Nene Cherry, Erica Badu, Queen Latifa. I really like women in rap very much. I even made a selection for a rap public: there were ten tracks, all with old-school female hip-hop. This groove, combined with feminine intonation, gives a touch of tenderness and cockiness, I like this combination. And they intonate this insolence in a teenage way.
BY THE WAY ABOUT RAP - YOU TOLD ABOUT THE HIP-HOP SIDE PROJECT WITH ANOTHER PARTICIPANT, WHAT IS IT IN NOW?
Did not work out. I realized that I can, roughly speaking, make a beat, but it will not be hip-hop. I can't explain this magic, but there is a groove in hip-hop and I can't seem to pick up on this stuff. It turns out a rap beat with Cedar. Therefore, I honestly said to myself: “Cedar, by! It will be something interesting, strange, but this is not hip-hop, say goodbye to this idea forever!"
DO YOU OFTEN INTERCUT WITH YOUNGER?
Yes! I was always attracted to young people, to their energy, to their physics, and I wanted to make a movie about them. Even when I was twenty years old, I had friends who were sixteen. Now I am twenty-eight, and I have friends who are eighteen years old. For example, the group GROUP. There is Stepik and Nekit - these are my sidekicks. There is so much truth in them, so much purity. My generation is so tough snobbish. And these guys are generally about other things, all this does not soar. One of my best friends just turned twenty-one. I give those who are younger, something from the height of their experience, but they also do not allow me to forget that it is important to be open. The older you get, the more you close. They show that it could be different.
DO YOU SUMMER ANY RESULTS WITH A NEW ALBUM, OR IS IT FOR YOU SOON THE BEGINNING OF something new?
No, it's just a situational album. It reflects a certain, very short stage. And I'm sure that I won't have such dance albums anymore. There was such a period, but now I am a completely different person, I am already being taken in the other direction. So I think it will be one such unique album - as an exception, not as a final chapter.
cover: Anastasia Pozhidaeva