Yellowhead – Life-Wasting Vest

Artist: Yellowhead
Title: Life-Wasting Vest
Label: 56 Stuff
Genre: Electronica, IDM
Reviewer: RTF

How long has it been? How many dynamics have shifted and stases endured since I last put audio to ear, fingers to keys to examine another missive from the underground? After countless culturally-appropriated spiritual journeys, this wanderer has returned from his travels with accounts of the outré and obscure; the first is Yellowhead’s 2016 album Life-Wasting Vest.

Now, a garment that purports to waste one’s life might not initially seem that desirable, but with a tagline like “a bundle of wasteworthy bass roaring, mid-range rustling and treble chirping,” I must admit my interest was piqued. Further examination of this article of clothing reveals the label, 56 Stuff, whose description is full of uplifting phrases such as “Life offers us a countless number of (…) ways to waste [our lives]. (…) Whatever is your own special choice, Yellowhead is here to support the idea.” It goes on, calling the item “a vest which makes the process of life wasting more effortless.” All this angst had me prepared for some ear-splitting harsh noise meditation, but, much to my surprise, this vest is cut from a wholly different cloth.

The fabric of Life-Wasting Vest is soft and inviting, exuding a care-free attitude that would be at home on the catwalk or the sidewalk. Designer Yellowhead shows a keen eye for detail by gently weaving quirky, jagged electronics sounds in and out of his instrumental works. Shrouded in subtlety and repetition, the ten tracks build through addition and subtraction of minor details and simple chord structures. “Cummuting with Lush” is a clear example, where a staccato synth line and clipped percussion carry the tune, accompanied by strategic placement of swells, warbling tones, and small stereo-panning motifs. The beats are often off-kilter and are the stand-out of the material, ranging from the glitchy as on “Weltschmerzdigest” and “Procrastinoccio” to the clever interplay of “Gran Truismo” and “Cabin Pressure.” All through the material, Yellowhead seems most adept when taking a percussive approach, using synths as another rhythmic element, whereas tracks like “Schnappscore” don’t reach the same levels of high fashion, yet still manage to remain enjoyable. Despite the hopeless description, Life-Wasting Vest’s light, flowy quality makes it quite fun to wear, and would feel at home in any nihilist fashionista’s wardrobe, though it might leave them wanting a whole look.

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3 Responses to Yellowhead – Life-Wasting Vest

  1. Linda says:

    Listening to this release a few times now. Since my return from holiday, I’ve become somewhat of a fashionata. The zipper of my shoe had broken, so had to buy a new pair. I bought 3 pairs of shoes at once (not buying any in 3 years). I had fallen in love of with one pair, but they were not my size. Bought a different model of the same brand instead. Then decided I’d fit in the fallen-in-love-shoes anyways and bought them as well. Then realized both pairs were no good for day-to-day use, so bought a new version of the broken shoes secondhand on the internet.

    It was a very pleasant act of time and money wasting and it gave me an enormous boost in confidence and ego. I can say nothing else than that this release is doing exactly the same! Fits like a glove, bubbles nicely around my head, boosts my mood (and it did need some). The album is never a bore, very uplifting and you don’t even realize you’re wasting time. I mean, does it? Good time spend isn’t a waste!

    I didn’t get to checking out many reviews yet, but so far they’re all sooooooo good! I don’t have enough ears! ;D Lovely releases to celebrate summer ❤

  2. kainobuko says:

    I’m a big fan of shoes too! If this album was a bodysuit, i would definitely wear it; making the complete blitz!

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