When Kedr Livanskiy’s 2016 mini-album January Sun dropped, it seemed like a postcard from some Siberian wilderness; a beacon from an isolated, far-flung soul looking for connection with people with similar interests. Of course, this is all an entirely Westernised construct, as we don’t necessarily expect music like Kedr’s – reverential, skeletal techno with forlorn vocals – to come out of Russia’s music scene. The exposure gained by January Sun shed a light on Livanskiy and the burgeoning electronic scene in the country’s metropolises, and even opened up new communications between the disparate artists within them.

Ariadna, Livanskiy’s full-length debut, takes this new exposure, connections and experience and builds upon the faded, grayscale productions of January Sun. That’s not to say that the charm and character of her previous work has been eradicated by an improved fidelity; just listening to the opening title track, with its mournful, loping vocal hook, gives you the same feeling of intercepting a transmission from a hidden bunker somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. But, beneath Livanskiy’s transportative voice, the beats and percussive elements sound crisper, more finely hewn. This is furthered on tracks like ‘Your Name’ and ‘Love & Cigarettes’, where the words might be in Russian, but the simplistic human desires are still tangible in Livanskiy’s windblown vocals. In both of these instances, the songs are built up on meticulously ticking beats and faded neon synths, but when the cunningly utilised bass slips its way beneath, the effect is undeniable and pushes these songs to the forefront of her most club-ready productions to date. ‘Sunrise Stop’ is a frosty spin on house, and shows her growing confidence in production as she builds from an atmospheric, whispy opening minute into an inebriating cocktail of vintage analogue sounds swirling around her quietly totemic presence. ‘Za Oknom Vesa’ features layered rapid-fire percussion, but Livanskiy’s delicate touch makes it less pounding and allows the song to glide in a sublime arc, skating through five minutes of subtle-yet-dazzling electronica.

Working for the first time on an album-length release, Livanskiy has put some thought into pacing and variation. Not every song on Ariadna is one that insists you get to your feet; she’s also provided plenty of soundtracking for those moments when you need to sit, smoke, chat or just mong out for a little bit. ‘Mermaid’ is three minutes of time-lapsed winter sunset, clouds drifting over a city turning in for the night. ‘Sad One’ is as on-the-nose as it gets from title through its dreary unfolding, and is the only really expendable song on Ariadna. It seems strange to have used it as the official closing song on the album, while songs like the propulsive warm-down of ‘Fire & Water’ and the booming, molten synth composition ‘Sunset’, are tacked on merely as digital and vinyl bonuses (respectively), when both would have justified inclusion and provided a more satisfying conclusion to the album. It’s a minor gripe though, especially as both songs can be tracked down online.

Kedr Livanskiy may no longer have the surprise element that aided in the proliferation of January Sun last year, but Ariadna doesn’t need that particular boon to stand up as a very worthwhile and engrossing listen. Livanskiy has become known as one of the leading figures in the electronic underground of Russia, and throughout this album she shows why; unafraid to shift her sound around different styles, to vaunt her various influences, but still leave her own personal stamp on it either through her vocal work or her signature glacial sheen. Ariadna shows a star on the rise to the heart of the worldwide underground.