The Chinese-born Yu Su is currently settled in Vancouver, and Preparations For Departure makes that point abundantly clear, channelling that same foggy, tree-lined Pacific Northwest vibe that permeates all the Mood Hut stuff (albeit filtered through a slightly gentler, dare-we-say more feminine lens), but still sounding right at home on the hyper-New York Arcane imprint. We first became acquainted with Yu Su via the playfully zen electronics of You’re Me’s Plant Cell Division on 1080p, and she’s since been ticking the boxes with releases on some of our other favorite labels: PPU and now Arcane. Preparations conjures that uniquely somber but hopeful feeling of lonely hours spent in airport terminals, eagerly anticipating a rendezvous with a loved one. Yu Su lays out a clear itinerary on the moody, percussive electro number that opens side A (“Make Your Escape”), before rolling out some carefree arboreal jazz on “Bluestone” and the swinging saltwater float of “Highland Way To My Heart.” Things really get shaking on side B with “I'll Say When I Can,” a sublime ethno-funk roller sporting fretless bass, clarinet and live dubbing by You’re Me chum Scott Johnson Gailey over a woozy, codeine-soaked sea shanty groove. If you lied and told us this was some recently-unearthed jewel forthcoming on Music From Memory, we’d have no reason to dispute it. The record winds down with the sweltering “Early,” featuring resounding woodwinds that sound like they’ve been yanked straight out of Roni Size & DJ Die’s “The Calling” and refitted for the day spa. Arcane jefe EDG4R seems to redefine the sound of the label on each release, and this one is the most sublime, rejuvenating entry so far. The enclosed postcard, a dedication to Yu Su’s mother and EDG4R’s father, lends a tender touch to an already moving set of tunes. Pressed on 180g vinyl and housed in what I can certainly say is the only lilac colored 12” sleeve in my collection; these are literally the last copies available, hand-delivered by the man himself. Don’t miss your flight. Recommended.
- 180g vinyl pressing
- housed in die-cut lilac jacket
- includes double-sided printed postcard
- limited edition
- music label: Arcane 2018
reviewed by edward james almost 05/2018