SHIGETO – Intermission
aaamusic | On 04, Nov 2015
Zach Saginaw, AKA Shigeto, has been too busy to focus purely on the next release; the next big thing that will be used to, in part, define him and his career. Which is OK because he’s just now dropping a window into the kind of sounds he’s working with, the directions he’s inspired to pursue and where his current output is generally at. He has also made the wise decision to release it in an EP format with the most appropriate name of them all: Intermission.
So, looking through this window, the big question is indeed: where we at? The first few seconds say we’re within a dusty neo-trance state blazon with a tranquil sheen before the sharp high-pitched clonks come in, knocking those initial impressions to the side and leading us into an easing seven minute track that is definitely fun to listen to, but not impressive in any ways that aren’t already displayed within those initial moments (‘Pulse’). In overall sound, think Nujabes crossed with Lapalux.
In fact, it’s quite easy to describe these tracks in terms of other artists. ‘City Dweller’ (feat. Ian Finkelstein) spreads out the possible influences to Madlib, Mo Kolours and Flylo and ‘Gently’ brings to mind The Durutti Column and Débruit (never said they weren’t eclectic influences at least!)
‘Do My Thing’ brings in more vibe of the mbira which graces a number of these tracks. Its sound in the overall aesthetic is locked into a heady, very clear layer above most of the others. By the track’s end, the mix creates the sense of a void around the ears that is rhythmically punctured by the beat punching through. By the entrance of the last track ‘Need Nobody’ it’s still again easiest to describe the sound via name dropping, this track bringing both the progressive Shlohmo and gentle Shinamo Moki to mind.
Shigeto is working on a lot and spreading himself thin between numerous projects and collaborations so this EP isn’t him trying to break ground for anyone else apart from himself, while still delivering some successful if somewhat safely played out experiments.
Its clear Shigeto himself does not feel that he is in a place that is completely his own and the components are too easy to link to other artists out there right now, thus not committing a whole album while still not letting what is great sounding music go to waste, and at the very least giving the EP release it deserves. Clear inspirations aside, it’s impressive to hear this work come from such a busy artist.