Zach Saginaw AKA Shigeto - a drummer, producer, all-round cool dude. A true inspiration when it comes to creativity and passion in music and a person many others have been looking up to in the past years.
This post wasn't meant to feature the whole No Better Time Than Now (2013 via Ghostly International) record, but I felt like expressing my utter admiration towards what this guy is doing as it has progressively become a watermark when it comes to creating music in my free time. Plus, I think Zach is a perfect example how having roots in drumming can really distinguish someone in the sometimes cluttered electronic scene. But, enough about that.
The pre-Shigeto story is quite interesting, so for those of you who are curious enough, I'll try to quickly summarize what I managed to find out from some interviews I've read for the past year or so. After picking up the drums at very young age and being brought up with a lot of Motown and jazz music, Zack ends up studying jazz music in NY, but after misfortuned accident while living in London (selling cheese), he develops tendonitis and is unable to use his arms... therefore, bye bye RLRLRRLL. Not being able to play the drums, he eventually starts producing music at home and... well, the rest is history - Full Circle (2010), Lineage (2012) and his third full-length record No Better Time Than Now have turned this dude into one of the most interesting acts nowadys (IMO).
Speaking of which, if you happen to be in Berlin this Saturday (9th of May) and you pride yourself as a person who enjoys music in general, please, do yourself a favour - go to Gretchen and see him live and Yosi Horikawa, because srsly - this is when Shigeto truly shines.
Since I got pretty late into his music, I still find No Better Time Than Now my favourite release. The whole thing is pretty fluid and despite the fact that it often fluctuates between hip-hop inspired slow jams ("Detroid Part 1"), exotic experimental sounds ("Ringleader" & "Olivia") and even ambient melodies ("Silver Lining"), it still has a wholesome feeling. The bold titles are my top tracks, in case you wonder.
photo of his studio by xlr8r
Throughout his music and especially seeing him live, one could really say this guy is coming from the jazz scene, but somehow wrapped in a collection of smoothness while still keeping the jazzy edginess. I really love this quote from an interview he did for the 405:
"It was almost like a fear of mine to get into that world, and I was super stubborn about it. I was a total jazz head, and I didn't even have an email address until something like 2003. In the end, I came to realise how much opportunity there was to learn so much, and with jazz, I kind of felt like I didn't have much to offer. I'm a decent drummer, but I felt there was nothing changing in jazz that was going to bring the genre to another level, and when I started to become more a part of the electronic scene, I felt I was becoming part of the growth of an actual movement."
So, yeah - the post might seem a bit sporadic, but I hope it sparkles your interest towards Shigeto.
じゃあ、また。 Jaa mata.