Following a packed out show at London’s Electrowerkz a few Fridays ago, Shigeto has unveiled a second new work from his upcoming LP No Better Time Than Now which is penned for release on August 19 through Ghostly International.
Ringleader is an exotic six minutes, starting off with twinkly beats and intensifying percussion that take you on a delicate safari into the new sounds of the Michagan-based beat-maker.
As Zach Saginaw aka Shigeto explains: “2012 was a powerful year for me. I released my second LP; I played nearly 180 shows in 360 days; I made the move back home from Brooklyn, NY to Detroit, MI; a six-year relationship of mine came to an end and I made it 30 years on the planet.”
The music of Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, has always been deeply rooted in his personal history. His debut EPs Semi-Circle and What We Held Onto explored his grandmother’s experience from a US internment camp through ambient, beat driven tracks, nostalgic melodies and spliced vocal samples, including his grandmother’s vocals.
His debut album Full Circle became a culmination of these EPs and further refinement of obsessive field recording and meticulous percussion, creating lush, sumptuous instrumental hip-hop. 2012’s sophomore album Lineage was a musical journey through his heritage combined with the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk and folk. The cover of his great grandfather’s house in Hiroshima even adorned the Lineage artwork.
For all that Saginaw reveres his connections to his past, however, his new album seems very much about the idea of living in the moment. The signs of this idea are all over No Better Time Than Now— from the obvious connotations of the album title, through song titles that seem harbingers of change and immediacy to the music itself. It’s an album that reflects a pivotal year in the life of its creator.
This sense of the restless vigor that change can bring is palpable throughout No Better Time Than Now. Fans of Shigeto’s previous work will find all the hallmarks of his sound here — the warm, inviting washes of liquid synth sounds, the intricate production, the jazz-influenced arrangements. Now, however, they’re imbued with a subtle energy — Detroit Part 1, for instance, features a surprisingly pounding hip hop beat, while Ringleader is propelled by an insistent hi-hat pattern that sits slightly ahead of the beat, giving the track a driving mood that belies its tempo.
You can catch Shigeto live on the following dates:
June 26 Lucerne, CH @ Treibhaus
June 27 Mulhouse, FR @ Bêtes de Scènes Festival
June 28 Dresden, DE @ Altes Wettbüro
July 11 Bordeaux, FR @ Hauts de Garonne Festival
July 12 Linz, AT @ Ottenheim Open Air
July 13 Prague, CZ @ Creepy Teepee Festival
July 17 Nijmegen, NL @ Valkhof Festival
July 18 Paris, FR @ Glazart w/ Come Truise
July 19 Ljubljana, SI @ TKNP Open Air Festival
July 21 Zadar, CR @ Soundwave Festival
July 28 Dufer, OR @ WTF Festival
September 25 Seattle, WA @ Decibel Festival