The music of Zach Saginaw, who records as Shigeto, has always cross-wired of a host of different musical influences. His EPs Semi-Circle and What We Held Onto explored his grandmothers experience from a US internment camp through ambient, beat-driven tracks, using samples of his grandmothers voice. His debut album Full Circle was a culmination of these EPs, employing obsessive field recording and meticulous percussion to create sumptuous instrumental hip-hop. 2012s sophomore album Lineage was a musical journey through his heritage set to the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk and folk. And 2012’s No Better Time Than Now was an album about living in the moment, with songs that seemed to be harbingers of change and immediacy (“First Saturn Return,” “Soul Searching”).
1: i weighed less than 2 lbs when i was born
2: my great great uncle ran illegal horse betting in detroit for the mafia.
3: my grandmother was in the internment camps during world war II.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My life and environment at any given time.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I have been making music since i was a child. whether it was playing in a rock band, playing my grandmothers piano or just the drums on my own in my parents basement. i just surrounded myself by music of all kinds. i started because it was fun and brought me happiness.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
That’s an impossible question. here are 5 albums i love.
Alice Coltrane – Universal Consciousness
Bill Evans – Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Aphex Twin – Ambient Works
Eddie Kendricks – People.. Hold On Dabrye – 1/3
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
late nights. european techno. renaissance.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Every time i visit i find new places. i honestly have no idea. big fan of open food markets and crowds of people drinking beer and rolling up spliffs.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I might be working with kids or in human rights, my mother has a lot of experience in grass roots organization.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Psychic Mirrors „Charlene“ on PPU.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As a spectator… recently watched herbie hancock play in detroit for free. i watched him play some of my all time favorite herbie tracks while standing in a massive crowd of detroiters grateful for the experience. it was heavy to say the least.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Essential to make my physical art but not essential to the process. i’ve found myself using more basic tools the farther along i go on this journey. started with drums and ends with drums most likely.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a younger brother that a lot of people mistake for my twin. not on looks but on how we operate and our mannerisms.
We are very close and work very closely together. I wouldn’t be doing what i’m doing with out him.
Shigeto will perform the 05.10.2017 at Ritter Butzke