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Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.



Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun


Kedr Livanskiy is based in Russia, and while it would be hard for me to say that January Sun reminds me of Russia, since I’ve never been there, I do get the feeling of chilly winds and grey skies, and the minute joy that comes from seeing the first blossoms of spring. Songs like “Winds of May” and “April” seem like postcards from a loved one, calling from a faraway place. The image may be a little overexposed, but there’s unbounded colours within it nonetheless. The long dark nights are also present, with songs like the blockbuster opening “Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle)” evoking all-night raves, but with a slight disconnectedness that speaks to a solitude of the soul. When she sings, the words may not always be understandable (half are Russian, half a strangely-pronounced English), but they soar out like a siren call to someone, anyone, out there that feels the same poignancy in their bones

Intimacy is something that a lot of artists strive for in their music, and is a facet that many listeners respond to. It’s something that is usually associated with close-miked vocals and a lot of empty space in the sound. Kedr Livanskiy gets across the intimacy of her surroundings in a much different way; using big blocky synthesizer sounds and scraping percussion to create 90s-era-Warp styled mood piecs. The sound of the songs on January Sun isn’t lo-fi, but the textures and presentation seem to want to date it, to make it seem adrift from the current swath of experimental electronic music coming from all corners of the globe. January Sun is an impressively understated debut release, that seems simple and underdeveloped, but unfolds and blossoms into something deeply resonant on multiple listens.


Scroll down to see my Top 50 albums list.

Rob's Albums of the Year

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound



Albums of the Year 2016: 50-26