Letters to Ubin is an EP released by Inch Chua (aka iNCH).
I am listening to the Letters to Ubin EP and smiling to myself because I am thinking of how a critic/observer of the local scene slammed iNCH’s music for being ‘soft’ and ‘not edgy’. Fact is that could not be further from the truth. Perhaps that critic was fooled by iNCH’s public persona! Certainly, there are numerous elements of Letters to Ubin that most casual listeners would consider too arty and indulgent — definitely ‘edgy’!
Ironically, my favourite track — “Simple Kind of Life” — is probably the most poppiest number on the EP, with its winning electro neo-soul-pop sensibility, it’s almost impossible not to dance and sing along to it! And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
The rest of the EP, apart from the playful opener “Mousedeer”, has a heavier conceptual weight — the awkward “Granite”, the questioning “Breakbone”, the atmospheric “Maybe Yesterday” and the dreamy “Dust That Moves” taking unconventional sounds to form electronic rhythmic foundations. Certainly producer Evan Low deserves credit for giving the EP a consistent distinctive feel.
These tracks explore dynamics and the spaces between sounds to generate an ambience of anticipation within minimalist constructs. There is spoken word (“Maybe Yesterday”) and snatches of Teochew monologue (“Xin”) that is so far removed from generic modern pop that makes the accusations of lack of edge ludicrous and seriously out of touch.
Whatever, let the music speak for itself – I am confident that committed listeners will find much to admire and savour on this delectable EP.