Shigeto’s “No Better Time Than Now” seems simultaneously meditative and restless as warm whirring synths harmoniously babble and stream along over a bundle of nervy rhythms from varying percussive instruments – be they sequencers or xylophones or fervently choppy drumsticks tapping tinny windchimes. These beats are elegantly arranged with keen intricacy, with so much plodding together all at once it could easily have thundered into a noisy/drone-like chaos and yet, it all seems to fall in step, dance-together, if tinged with an uneasy yearning. But if the beat’s tempo quickens the pulse, the heart of the music is always eased by the sighing and salving of the synthesizers.

Zach Saginaw has spent a half-dozen years in New York but returned home to Detroit in late 2012 while completing this, his third full length album. Saginaw started his compositions as Shigeto during the days of IDM (“Intelligent Dance Music”), sort of the bridge between Massive Attack into Boards of Canada – thinking-man’s electronica seemed to be the suggestion. Boundaries have blurred for Shigeto – bolstered by his experiences in different locales, be it based in Detroit or NY or from his world-trekking tours but also the boundaries of time and perspective – as “Time” marks a shift in his sensibilities from a thematic preoccupation with the past (where he came from) to a fascination with the near future (who he is and where he’s going). With these blurred boundaries comes blurring genres: “Ringleader” kicks cascading rhythms like a late night AfroBeat funk ceremony while “Ritual Howl” is an airy ambient experimentation, whirling space-pop synths over R&B. “Detroit Pt. 1” heaves these warm, wheezy organs that strike a soulful hook atop a steady strutting hip-hop beat. From track one onward, the moods are meticulously wound up, tighter and tenser and then released by the soothing soulfulness those fine, fuzzy synths.

About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.