Yu Su’s Yellow River Blue nods to China’s well-known Yellow River, which flows alongside her hometown of Keifang, within the nation’s Henan province. The album was impressed by a 2019 tour throughout China that took the Chinese language-born, Vancouver-based digital musician from the nation’s coast to the Tibetan Plateau, and it’s straightforward to examine that river’s meandering journey whereas listening to Yu Su’s little worlds of sound. Her music is a community of stylistic tributaries that unfolds with magnificence, by no means too busy but nonetheless containing an abundance of putting sounds. Yu Su’s work shapeshifts steadily over time, widening and opening itself to new parts: the classical piano she studied as a toddler, the textures of ambient, the punchy beats of dance music, and devices from her homeland.
Yu Su’s work is evocative of the dancefloor however exists aside from it, or possibly even past it. Tempos and moods lean towards downtempo; she blends overtly artificial textures with stringed devices and delicate piano, stretching out stuttering textures with dub delay. Within the years since she found digital music at a Floating Points live performance in Vancouver, Su has made music for each golf equipment and artwork galleries. “After I DJ or make music and once I make sound installations it’s fully totally different stuff,” she has said, “so I needed to mix these issues and blur the strains between these codes that have been designed to separate individuals.” Yellow River Blue displays a spread of potential moods and areas. The large drums of “Melaleuca (At Night time),” with shades of left-field ’80s pop like Yellow Magic Orchestra, sound like they could have been crafted for slow-motion dancefloors; “Klein” could possibly be the soundtrack to a mist-filled set up; whereas a monitor like “Dusty” appears designed for listeners to float inside their very own minds.
There’s often an virtually vaporwave-like tenor to Yu Su’s sound, just like the heavenly waiting-room music of “Contact-Me-Not,” or the dirty, vaguely chopped-and-screwed “Klein,” whose clanging percussion and trippy whirlpools are proper out of a deep lower by Dean Blunt or Actress. Whereas Yu Su’s debut EP strolled casually alongside, “Xiu” aggressively jump-starts the album with pounding drums and intensifying rhythms, although it stays grounded within the calm of her fluttering voice. The combination of naturalistic sounds and digital textures lends an vitality paying homage to trip-hop or the ambient psychedelia of artists like Future Sound of London.
The passage of time is a central aspect of Yu Su’s work. Sounds begin out clear and steadily turn into distressed till the purpose of disintegration. On “Contact-Me-Not,” a full choir of synths begins to stutter earlier than slowing to a static-ridden crawl. For all of the quieting atmosphere of her music, Yu Su’s compositions can go away you feeling barely on edge, not sure of how the beats may morph or the tempo may subtly modify. However at occasions her music will be unexpectedly shiny, virtually cheerful. Closing lower “Melaleuca (At Night time)” bounces atop glittery keyboard riffs and crisp snaps; “Dusty” builds from mild nighttime chirps right into a slow-motion breakbeat anthem. Dub is a gentle presence, significantly on “Futuro,” which recollects the buoyant cadences of classic Seefeel.
Along with the titular reference to the panorama of her childhood, Yu Su additionally incessantly attracts on timbres, instrumentation, and pentatonic scales conventional to Chinese language music, additional rooting the album in a way of place. All through Yellow River Blue, you possibly can clearly hear Yu Su becoming a member of collectively totally different elements of her life, and that fusion of disparate types is a part of what makes Yellow River Blue so inviting. Created with an exacting sense of compositional precision, it nonetheless wanders like a slow-moving river, providing a brand new discovery round each bend.
Purchase: Rough Trade
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