Monday, January 28, 2013

yu-chi - 2012 - monochrome clown

Experimental ambient/acoustic
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“Just an ordinary Japanese farmer,” musician yu-chi describes himself on his personal page, but if his first release, which he wrote, performed, and produced on his own, is any indication, he’s anything but ordinary. monochrome clown is about as perfect a debut you get: it’s a nakedly emotional and even sentimental display, but its melodies are breathtaking, and yu-chi’s sense of production benefits from his roots, as the sparse production lends his equally sparse arrangements an amplified tone of wistfulness.
yu-chi’s strongest attribute is his deceptively playful songwriting. “the end of the world” plays two forces against each other, pitting a piano-and-strings combination against a line of telephone static. Then all of a sudden, it just stops and switches the focus onto a toy box for one breath—just long enough for the return of the pianos and strings to make a big impact. Furthermore, he utilizes a creative and effective set of instruments throughout: “marks of a tear” begins with the strums of an acoustic guitar before building into a more subdued take on a folk song, replete with chiming bells and a simple yet heartwarming drum beat. The track then takes an abrupt turn into darkness when it segues into a two-minute outro led by what resembles a clown baby’s voice. (Don’t let that last part scare you.)
Even with their twists and turns, the six tracks of monochrome clown flow remarkably well: perhaps it’s because yu-chi conceived the project as a musical short film (check the Bandcamp page for the outline). And in my opinion, it’s a wonderful story to get lost in.

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