Acoustic/ambient musician yu-chi describes himself as "just an ordinary Japanese farmer" 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. 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,” which 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.) As a whole, monochrome clown plays like a haunting short film: yu-chi may consider himself ordinary, but his music is anything but.
Both monochrome clown and unevenness, yu-chi's second LP, are available for free on his Bandcamp.