Russian producer/musician Kedr Livanskiy returns with her expansive, timeless new record on which she pushes the boundaries of electronic songwriting. Liminal Soul plays like an opera as Livanskiy brings her crystalline voice to the forefront, channeling it into operatic choruses, looping falsetto, and one of her first full songs in English. This conviction is evident in the album’s instrumental arrangements as well - Livanskiy expertly fuses acoustic elements with electronic ones, deconstructing pop songwriting with Bjork-like prowess. The haunting vocal loop and house beat on lead single “Stars Light Up” sound almost underwater, distorting our sense of physical space and prompting us to “plunge into the night skies.”
“Stars Light Up”, which sees its release across all digital platforms on 1st October via 2MR, comes with an introspective video captured on 8mm film in one of the oldest church complexes in Moscow by director Sergey Kostromin. Kedr describes, "White-hipped roof vaults - antique arches, but with a Slavic tint. This place is very personal to me. I feel the connection of antiquity, with those times when people turned their gaze to the sky in search of answers to their questions, in order to feel some kind of otherworldly energy and strength. ‘Look at the sky’ is sung in the song, urging people of our time not to lose contact with heaven - not necessarily in a religious sense, but rather a broader metaphysical one.
On Liminal Soul she injects her infectious club beats with a dose of the natural, crafting a transcendent collection of deconstructed break pop. Contributions from Flaty and avant-electronic group Synecdoche Montauk on “Your Turn” and “Night” add texture to the album’s dancier tracks, while the use of older acoustic instruments on “Storm Dancer” and “Boy” add a sense of timelessness that furthers the otherworldly tone. From the angelic choral opener “Celestial Ether” to the moodier outro “Storm Dancer”, the listener enters a state of suspended reality where they are transported to dark cityscapes and verdant rural sprawls, futuristic societies and ancient ones, all in the same stroke. In the end, Livanskiy doesn’t propose a single path forward. The point, instead, is to make peace with the fluctuation itself.
The album’s striking cover art, designed by Kedr and Flaty, reflects this theme as well: “It was essential to share the feeling of transition, of a space, which cannot be articulated,” she says. “The idea is that even in dark ages the light still glows somewhere inside.”