Album of the Week // 8th-11th February
Kaifeng-born, Vancouver-based artist Yu Su released her debut album Yellow River Blue on Jan 22 2021 with her newly launched bié Records, with its European vinyl offering coming from Music From Memory. The newly established label follows her winter 2019 tour of mainland China where she travelled from Qingdao, the western shore of Yellow Sea Coast to Xining, the largest urban hub on the Tibetan Plateau. As she encounters musical artists and enthusiasts at the foreground of the explosive left field electronic scene across China, she is inspired to participate and contribute.
Named after the world’s most heavily salted river, Yellow River Blue is Yu Su’s musical autobiography, constructed around stories of chasing something inconceivable. Written and recorded in different continents in between August 2019 and March 2020, all songs seek to musically translate years of moving and touring, temporarily settling, and the feelings of being both turned away and accepted. It is an homage to her home beside the Yellow River.
The album consists of eight songs that are versatile in writing and aesthetics, with opposing notions of flurry and constancy, chaos and zen, lyrical styling and punctuating notes. Yu Su is in a class of her own, dodging the obvious while combining sounds and inspirations of various origins into a new destination that sounds like her home in the here and now. It’s a release that is constantly in motion and moves fluently between contemporary pop, ethereal sound compositions and dance-floor experiments.
Tapping into an expansive repertoire of fourth world ambience and left field dance music, Yu Su’s emotion-packed compositional punches are best described as organically groovy jazzbient expeditions between coasts. A proficient instrumentalist who conjures up moments of natural and synthetic beauty, her delicate, dub-inflected signature balances a variety of luminous and wistful downtempo textures. She is responsible for productions on DC’s People’s Potential Unlimited (2017), The Hague- based Wichelroede (2017), NYC’s RVNG Intl. & Arcane (2018), and Amsterdam based Second Circle/Music From Memory (2019). As a DJ, she holds a highly unique voice, crafting evocative musical narratives which touch on a wide-range of influences and personal introspections.
You can listen to tracks from the album all this week on Morning Mari*, 9:00–9:15 GMT.