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The Musical Tastes of Yu Su, In and Out of the Kitchen

Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites (and, occasionally, other BC-ers) to scour their sonic-led memories to pull out the three albums anchoring their musical tastes.

In this edition, Vancouver-via-Kaifeng (China) DJ, musician and food-lover, Yu Su, gives us a three-course rundown of her musical preferences, in and out of the kitchen. Speaking of kitchens: on Wednesday, December 7th, Ubuntu Canteen will be hosting Yu Su for a sonically inspired collaborative dinner, featuring the personal sounds of her trip through mainland China. A small number of tickets to this special food-and-sound experience are still available – get yours here before they’re gone!

What is your relationship to Ubuntu, and how did the dinner collab come about?

I used to live in Cedar Cottage and would always prefer to go to Ubuntu for a quick coffee and some of their amazing pastries, sit around and be cozy (I was just talking to a friend about how Ubuntu felt like a little daycare centre for both adults and kids). Dave and I eventually met earlier this year and became close friends. One day I casually mentioned a sound meditation and listening event I did at Giant Steps in London circa 2019, and that it would be nice to host a dinner at home in Vancouver, and he just said, “Let’s do it,” and that’s it.

What are you most excited for about the dinner collab?

I admire the relationship Dave and everyone at Ubuntu have with food and cooking. It’s so direct, honest, and at the same time very spontaneous, which is very much how I treat music-making, DJ-ing and cooking. I’ve never worked in a professional kitchen before, and I look forward to be prepping and making all these dishes with the team in their beautiful, sunlit open kitchen.

What sort of music do you like to listen to when you are cooking in the kitchen?

A lot of different things, depending on if I’m cooking something quickly or taking my time hosting a dinner party for friends. For a better idea, check out my Definitive Records picks listed below…

Don Cherry / Latif Khan | Music / Sangam

How can you not listen to Don Cherry in the kitchen? It simmers and bubbles, and all of a sudden everything’s transformed beyond space and time: taste and smell. You can feel the texture of cumin and star anise between your fingers. It’s truly “an inspiration from home”.

Nu Genea | Nuova Napoli

Ok, it is difficult for me to pick just one album from Italy. I spend lots time touring over there, partly because of the food! The lovey people of Nu Genea do not only represent the sounds of Napoli, but the sounds of having a truly good time together. Put this album on if you are cooking outside, rain or shine.

Duval Timothy | Meeting with a Judas Tree

My last record is from my friend, Duval Timothy. Duval works with food alongside music also, which was how we bonded so quickly over the last couple of years. I am so in love with his new record. This is good for cooking alone. Just be patient and listen – you’ll know what to do next.

From ‘Jazzy Boombap’ to Adolescent Rebellion: Shotaro Jotatsu Names His Definitive Records

In anticipation of his next event on June 17th, the Vancouver-based DJ and host of the Japanese-run music and vintage pop-up, Ishinomonosashi, gives us the rundown of his most influential albums to date.

What’s Pumping on the Speakers (and Headphones) of Patrick Hennessy

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Music is a big deal at the Chilliwack brewery (all of their beers have music-inspired names) so it came as no surprise that its co-owner was eager to share her three most influential albums.