Across nearly a decade under the alias Kedr Livanskiy, Moscow’s Yana Kedrina developed a dark, ethereal style of techno and electro pop on records like Ariadna and Your Need. With 2021’s minimalist Liminal Soul, her music turned colder, further whetting the hard edges of her outsider house. But Kosaya Gora, Kedrina’s new duo project with longtime collaborator Flaty—an IDM-inspired beatmaker and member of the GOST ZVUK crew who contributed mixing and production to Your Need and Liminal Soul—marks a sharp break from either artist’s previous work. Kosogor delves into haunting guitar-driven dream pop, at once dreamily distant and deeply intimate. Kedrina transitions seamlessly from dance music, setting her voice against a gloomy, atmospheric backdrop.
Recorded on a mobile setup in remote Russian villages, Kosogor’s moody soundscapes are simple and soaked in reverb, evoking an imagistic, Dean Blunt-like. Elements of trip-hop and goth, and even hints of their techno backgrounds, flesh out a sound steeped in dark folk. Kedrina conjures hazy images of motorcycles and demigods and baptism in the forest; she croons across the ambient pop of “Empty Realm” in an invented elvish dialect, and on “Dorogi Freestyle,” she sings from the perspective of a god-like figure “come down to earth from high.” Her rural fantasies play out like modern-day myths whose subjects feel just out of focus.