Review – “Life Without Structure” – YlangYlang

reviewed by Jack Derricourt


Life Without Structure is the most highfalutin album I’ve reviewed in quite some time. It’s one thing to say you have a diverse list of influences, but the bandcamp write up, “The album is broadly influenced by a cadre of 20th century thinkers from R.D. Laing to Krishnamurti, balancing the mystic self against the discipline needed for consciousness,” just sounds intimidatingly pretentious.

Over the top concepts that inform but do not become the music aside, this is a great record. From the first artful beats and echoing, single vocal of “Uncertain Landscapes”, you can tell this sparse set of recordings is going to hit deep and stay there for a while. YlangYlang’s tones wash over the weathered ears of the listener, with a voice that seems half-caring, half-babbling

There are beautiful outsider noises to be found on Life Without Structure. From what I can tell, “Lavender Wow” is a campfire aboard a spaceship that’s having its motor calibrated for higgs boson particle buildup. Very nice.

The golden bowl of the record is “The Way Shadows Play”. Soul-stirring synths lead it off. By the end, the track has morphed into juxtaposed digital bird calls and jolting, melodic waves of synthetic tone. This one’s quite a treat.

Life Without Structure is fun to listen to. It made me feel calmer than before I put it on, but I never felt myself getting bored. Immerse yourself in the recordings, and feel yourself cosily retreating into one of the many intellectual corners created by these playful sounds. I hope you get a kick and a smile out of it too.

Top Track: “The Way Shadows Play”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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