Chris Daly is often concerned about density.
Doc Brown was right to worry. Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull? While we could spend the afternoon ensconced in illicit fog debating the issue, Michigan’s Shigeto cuts to the heart of the matter on his latest EP, Weighted.
The four track burner is a companion piece to his third album proper, The New Monday, also released on the ethereal Ghostly International label. Here, Ann Arbor native Zach Saginaw maintains the positive Detroit vibes and somehow manages to find himself at the intersections of electronic, house, jazz, industrial and funk, gloriously blended together in what is becoming Shigeto’s signature sound.
A percussionist by training, Shigeto goes hard on the low end, hefting meaty synths over muted, hard hitting drums and their electronic counterparts. Opener “Fight Club” is an underground roller coaster jam, pounding and uplifting at the same time. Think Trent Reznor on much happier drugs. Follow-up “Ooh Ooh” probably is my favorite track here, our young beat maestro using a similar technique as he has on tracks like, “Pulse,” from 2015’s Intermission, utilizing just enough of a vocal sample to keep the track moving without overpowering a thing. It’s got a definite Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya vibe.
Keyboardist Ian Fink joins Shigeto on the grooved out “The Line Up,” likely the best taste of their upcoming US/European tour along with Marcus Elliott on woodwinds/electronics. It’s a beat-i-fied jazz work out that makes you want to actually dance, not simply shake your rump and nod your head, but bust out some moves that would make your mama proud. To close things out, Shigeto is joined by the aforementioned Elliott on saxophone for the growling grinder, “Detroit Pt. II,” but to give it that extra special local secret sauce, the entire joint was remixed by the legendary Detroit house producer, Andrés. It’s heavy stuff, indeed.