Rhythm Guide: Yu Su – Yellow River Blue | bié Records

For this week’s pick in our Rhythm Guide, we have Kaifeng-born, Vancouver based artist Yu Su releasing her debut album, Yellow River Blue on her newly established label bié Records.

The album is an ode to her home in China which is located at the Yellow River. Yu Su delivers an album with outstanding productions combining traditional Chinese music fluidly with ambient dub, synthesizers, and experimental electronic waves. In addition, she uses her own vocals to complete her story behind the album.

Yellow River Blue was mostly written during her time traveling across the western shore of the Yellow Sea Coast to Xining. Along the way she got inspired, moved, and touched by the electronic music scene in China and combined it with her own experience in touring and traveling. 

The album starts with ‘Xiu’, an uplifting track which connects the dots between organic music and bass driven electronics with Su’s diffused vocals, leaving an energized yet calming vibe. Besides ‘Melaleuca’ – another uplifting track with a more melancholic feel – most tracks on the record are more downtempo. Where ‘Futuro’ delivers a percussive trance with bass lines clearly influence by dub music, ‘Gleam’ is a mid-tempo dream that is shaped out of the combination of ambient and leftfield electronica. Considered one of the highlights of the album, ‘Touch-me-not’ is a track that slowly creates ambient waves rolling to the end of the track leading into a warm atmosphere with a subtile glitchy touch along the way.

The track ‘Klein’ brings out the versatility of Yu Su where she creates a more obscure, chaotic, experimental sound with heavy slow drums and sounds from space with melancholic vocals in the background. To do the album right at the end, ‘Dusty’ creates a gentle and ‘Melaleuca (at night)’really owing up to the traditional Chinese music. 

Besides the release on bié Records, the album has a European vinyl edition on Amsterdam-based Music From Memory.