It’s been four years since Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, returned home to Michigan from a stint in Brooklyn, NY, and since then, the multi-faceted musician has become a part of the fabric of Detroit’s music scene.
With each project Shigeto releases his sound becomes more and more polished, more and more confident, and on “The New Monday” he seems like he’s fully comfortable in his own skin. This album explores more genres and styles than his previous releases, but it’s still unmistakably Shigeto.
The album holds a few features from left-field artists, such as ZelooperZ of Danny Brown’s “Bruiser Brigade”, who Shigeto collaborated with earlier this year. It shows that Shigeto isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone to traverse new territories. Every section feels perfectly placed, every sound feels expertly toiled over, making the listening experience like watching a master-craftsman finally let loose and start to have some real fun after years of methodically gaining experience.
In a recent interview with Bandcamp Weekly, Saginaw explains that the overarching theme of this album is community, and finding your place within a community in order to help it grow and thrive. The title “The New Monday” stems from Saginaw’s DJ night at the Motor City Wine bar in Detroit called ‘Monday is the New Monday’ that he holds with a close group of friends and family. In the interview, he says that DJing has helped him step back from being a performer, and experience a mutual interaction between him and the crowd. DJing requires being more in-tune with the crowd’s needs and wants, and having the ability to meet those needs on the fly. Performing is a little more one sided – the performer does what they are going to do, the crowd sits back and takes it in. A lot of the tracks on “The New Monday” are in tempos and grooves to make you dance, so it seems Shigeto has found the perfect balance between the two worlds.
This year has also seen the launch of Shigeto’s own “Portage Garage Sounds” label and gallery that he started with his brother Benjamin Saginaw. Besides its killer aesthetic, the label holds a couple essential very-limited press 12″s that come equipped with PGS-branded Blotter Paper “for display use only”… With a tagline of “Fight Hate/ Promote Love, Fight Racism/ Promote Unity, Fight Bigotry/ Promote Music”, it’s clear that the two brothers have strong idea of the goals they strive to achieve.
All in all, it seems like Shigeto is trying to promote something more than just good music. He’s trying to bring people together during tough times to simply enjoy one another’s company, and to try to build for a better future while doing so. It’s not done through rage or aggression, it’s done peacefully through non-violent mediums and personal expression. Personally, I think we can all take a page out of his book.
“The New Monday” released October 6, 2017 on Ghostly International