Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
At about the four and a half minute mark of this 16-minute, put it on the hi-fi and shake up some cocktails jam for the after-dinner crowd, there's a hiss coming out of the speakers that begins as if someone's tire had a slow leak. It gets louder and stronger and makes you think of a fog, if Mother Nature found a way to pump it out the way a stage smoke machine did it. They it bubbles on, even more, getting louder and fussier still, until it breaks out through the roof, like the world's prissiest sidewinder.
Then the beat drops and Michigan-bred Shigeto - or Zach Saginaw on his tax forms - takes us in through a majestic marble-floored room, lined on both sides with tall, thick, white columns and the jazz band that's been hired to play this stuffy function is getting roughed up by some backpacker turntablists. Everything's getting just slightly askew and the crowd doesn't seem to be minding. They'd like to see what might come of this scuffle. They'd like to hear more of these juxtapositions. They're fine with imagining that there are tires being gouged into, fog machines on the ready to blur out all of the makeup-ed and dressiness in the room and the snakes are on the prowl. They wouldn't mind hearing where this might go next, over their warming champagne and their fondue.
Saginaw, who grew up in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, makes a kind of immaculate trance music that behaves as novel. It's music with a thousand twists and turns. It's rich and textured, with secret hiding places and fascinating meanderings. It is not just a slab of sounds and samples, strung together coolly, but interestingly only as party favors - bits tossed aside at the end of the night or left behind when all of the foot traffic has dulled and the door slams finally for the last time. Shigeto offerings are streams of music that never involve the same water twice. They keep us wondering and they keep us believing that Saginaw has countless many more tricks up his sleeves.
Shigeto Official Site