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Kedr Livanskiy Takes a Jungle Beat to a Field on "There Was a Time"

The Russian electronic singer and producer channels UK d'n'b on her new single, which we're premiering right now.

Kedr Livanskiy is fearless – you’d have to be, as a non-Brit putting out jungle and drum ’n’ bass-inflected music in 2018. That's not exactly the most 'playing the Spotify algorithm' game move. But Kedr's known for doing her own thing. The Russian singer and producer has been a part of Moscow’s underground electronic scene for a little while now, with a sound spanning washes of synths and reversed vocals to sharper, techno-like beats. Last year saw the release of her debut album Ariadna (I highly recommend its title track as a post-party, mellow-out mood), following 2016's January Sun EP. But now? Well, now she’s saying ‘fuck that’ and putting out track “There Was a Time (Bilo Vremya),” which sounds like something you'd hear at a rave under a railway arch in 2010 south London, where drinks are poured warm into paper cups and it's too sweaty to see. Also, the song bangs hard.


We're premiering its video now, a largely black-and-white clip where Kedr and some friends wander through crop fields, forest and a rural road, in scattered vignettes. The video's set in the sort of place you'd imagine someone scouting for a low-budget indie film horror location, then deciding that maybe it was actually a bit too eerie. Kedr has often used scenery that blends both the stark, post-Communist architecture of her neighbourhood on Moscow's outskirts with the area's rural delicacy – you can see that in the video for "Your Name," off her album last year. Paired with her hazy, almost spaced-out vocal, that rat-a-tatting jungle beat and a smooth breakdown that takes the song on another direction about halfway through, the "There Was a Time" visuals read as less sincere and more carefree.

Kedr tells us via email that the shoot was just about a spontaneous as it looks. She wrote the song in 2014, recorded before any of her other music came out, and made the video not long after. "Three years ago, my best girlfriends and I went to the countryside. Just a couple of days before that, I'd written this song. We took the camera and just snuck off to shoot the video as we staggered around the neighbourhood." In what I have to say is a bold move, she also added that "there is no storyline and no special idea here. In fact, it's just like a story in Instagram today.” If that's not one of the best Insta story endorsements we've seen in a while, we're not sure what is. Get into the video in full at the top of the page.

Kedr Livanskiy plays a London headline show at the Oval Space's Pickle Factory on Thursday 3 May, and will also be taking her sick live show to Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona on 30 May.

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