Guest Selector: Yu Su

Ahead of her show at Edinburgh's Sneaky Pete's this month, Vancouver-based DJ Yu Su fills us in on ten of her favourite tracks

Feature by Nadia Younes | 19 Mar 2019
  • Yu Su

Kaifeng-born, Vancouver-based DJ and producer Yu Su began to make a name for herself in 2016 as one half of You’re Me, a collaborative project between herself and Scott Johnson Gailey. Since parting ways with Gailey, Yu Su has continued to peak interest as a producer through a string of solo releases; her latest being the 2018 mini-album Preparations For Departure, released on New York label Arcane.

As a DJ, Yu Su is known for blending a diverse range of tracks across genre and creating emotional narratives for audiences to follow. Get a taste of what to expect at her upcoming show for Wednesday night regulars Heaters at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s this month by having a listen to some of her favourite tracks.

Mount Kimbie – Marilyn (feat. Micachu)
[Warp, 2017]

This song is everything I love about a good kraut-y love song. The combination of the vibraphone sounding loops panning mixed with the overdriven bass guitar is just so perfect. I hope I can get to produce pop music like this someday soon.

People Plus – Olympus Mons
[Incienso, 2018]

Everything on this record is so varied and cross-genre, and this is an endless acid (according to me since I have mixed feelings towards the 303 oriented acid genre) slow burner. I’m not an expert on defining genres in dance music or knowing what labels have released what, but if you listen to my mix or have seen me play you know the exact kind of stuff I look for in tracks. One thing I am particularly drawn to is something that can balance the sounds of Arthur Russell and Hessle Audio, which you can hear in this record.

Laurie Anderson – Kokoku
[Warner Bros., 1984]

My next EP is very much inspired by the instrumentals of this Laurie record.

Hypnobeat – Ritual Fire Dance
[Arma, 2016]

Simple yet so complicated; everything is mixed in such a wide range of space but also tightly in the middle, and it’s so hypnotic when you hear this late at night on a giant system. Also love the field recording of crowd in the background, the very industrial sounding bass line and the dubbed out hi-hat every once in awhile.

The Fireman – Pure Trance
[Parlophone, 1993]

I don’t have a clue what trance music is but this Paul McCartney track was way ahead of its time and is an absolute masterpiece; just listen to all the bits of vocal samples in the background. Thank you Alan Briand (Shelter) for reminding me of this.

Free Arts Band – Inhouse
[Fasaan Recordings, 2016]

This has been one of my favourite records since it came out a couple of years ago on Malmo-based label Fasaan Recordings (Emanuel who runs the label also produces beautiful music). I wanted to link A1 this repetitive new wavey track with a Spike-sounding guitar solo at the end of Cool Grey and couldn’t find it on YouTube, but you should listen to the whole EP.  I’m not sure who’s behind this project and I hope they will have more stuff coming out in the future.

Tolouse Low Trax – Kadiz

I think they only pressed 100 copies of this so of course I don’t have a physical copy. Anyway, Tolouse Low Trax is one of my favourite producers ever. He reminds me of Art of Noise and [Haruomi] Hosono but with this touch of very haunting other worldly emotion, and I hope one day I can get something remixed by him. If this record is pressed on 33 you should try play it at 45, both sound insane and you can for sure play it at different time of the night.

Red Axes – Sweet John Gang
[I’m A Cliche, 2015]

Delay! Delay! Delay! Feedback! Feedback! Feedback! I need more of those in dance tracks, inserted sneakily and wisely. I don’t care, it’s not the same from adding extra delay and echo on a DJM.

Fizzè – Odessa
[Mensch, 1987]

Steel drums, hand percussions, early Kraftwerk style synth (again, according to me) – everything is so beautiful. I got my copy from a friend in Portland – shout out to Incidental Music, check out the label and their online shop. I think this was also pressed as limited edition; the cover is so detailed, I’ve been thinking about framing it and hanging it up in my kitchen.

Forum – Papillon
[Aiwo rec., 2016]

I played this one recently on a radio show and everyone’s been asking about it so here it is again. Normal 4’s Aiwo rec. is so amazing; him, Bufiman and those guys have inspired me so much in terms of production and I’ve been learning so much from just listening to their music on repeat. And I think this is reflected in the way I pick music as well. I just have sounds and certain ways of arranging keys, chords and rhythmic layering that I like. And when I DJ I just play music that I wish I could make or work towards being able to make and music that absolutely connects me emotionally, and this Forum track does it all.

Yu Su plays Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, 27 Mar