Friday, June 23, 2023—8:00pm
Please note: Tonight's Shigeto Live event will move indoors to the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube) due to inclement weather. The Cube is located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 3711 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, just across Parsons Street from Sosnick Courtyard. The start time remains unchanged, with the event beginning at 8 p.m.
Artists take on pseudonyms for a multitude of reasons, but in Zach Saginaw’s case, those reasons run deeper than most. Saginaw records under the name Shigeto. It’s his middle name; it’s also his grandfather’s name, a tribute to the Japanese branch of Saginaw’s family tree. Shigeto also means “to grow”—appropriate, given Saginaw’s premature birthweight of less than a pound. Today, Shigeto stands for Saginaw’s vividly beautiful electronic music. Beat-driven but given to richly textured sound design, rhythmically fractured but melodically sumptuous, Shigeto’s music is a bridge between the past and present, bringing the artist face to face with a creative legacy that spans decades.
Saginaw was brought up on a steady diet of Michigan-bred music, as his father spoon-fed him old Motown and jazz records by the crate load. Saginaw picked up the drums at an early age, spending much of his childhood playing in the Detroit/Ann Arbor music scene. After nearly flunking out of high school—save for his music studies—Saginaw spent three years studying jazz at the New School in NYC and three more in London, where he began woodshedding, obsessed with learning electronic production. Soon enough, beats materialized, Saginaw moved to Brooklyn and took up the name Shigeto, and his peers began to take notice.
His releases are nominally indebted to instrumental hip-hop but, like Saginaw, straddling many worlds at once. Cool shades of ambient music, stuttering early IDM, dubstep sub-bass, and jazz melodicism color Shigeto’s palette, which he wields with a painterly attention to detail. He continues to be prolific with a complex constellation of sounds and ideas that we have come to expect from the producer/drummer. His compositional focus and restraint grounds songs that are otherwise cosmically inclined.
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