No Better Time Than Now
The music of Shigeto (aka Michigan producer Zach Saginaw) has always been informed by jazz, but this new full-length takes the listener even further down that route, in parts evoking Herbie Hancock, with its Rhodes flourishes, and non-linearity. No Better Time Than Now captures a more intimate live sound, building upon 2012's Lineage in moving further towards the Four Tet/Bonobo end of the downtempo axis and away from the glitchy, West coast influence. In eschewing the heavily compressed electronic production du jour, Shigeto has found a sound that gives his compositions ample space to breathe. Intro track "First Saturn Return" eases the listener in with a seductive Rhodes melody line laid over distant crackles and delicate percussion. This is followed by the deep grooves of "Detroit Part 1," one of the more hip-hop-influenced tracks on the album, and just as you begin to feel comfortable, "Miss U" blindsides you with its melancholic pull. No Better Time Than Now is a mature, immersive work that carries with it an intense emotional weight — the passionate, human energy of the live drumming dovetails beautifully with the optimism and spiritual healing expressed in the melodies. It's a quality sorely missing from so much contemporary electronic music.
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