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Shigeto

Shigeto

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Michigan’s all-stars go from Barry Sanders to Danny Brown, Sufjan Stevens to Carol Wald.

But if Michigan was going to pick one rep, one person to be a synecdoche for the whole warped energy of the state, it might be Shigeto. Zach “Shigeto” Saginaw’s last name isn’t a reference to the Michigan town, it was a misspelling on Ellis Island scribbled into lore. And that sort of flux, of happy accidents and profundity stemming from the mundane inform his work. That and the rich history of musical life inherent in Michigan itself. So, read our thoughts on “Detroit Part 1,” listen to our interview with Shigeto and see why he’s one of the best of the 10s.

Trying to be something is so hard, I feel, besides being yourself.
— Shigeto
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“Detroit Part 1”

There’s the jazz, then the hip-hop, the juke (stolen from Chicago) and, of course, the mischievous vibe, all naturally spewing the grinning, goofy yet ever determined Shigeto. And that’s the butter smooth, luxurious trip through Michigan “Detroit Part 1” in a nutshell. Like the drummer he is, and the rappers he produces, Shigeto finds a pocket and rides it to nocturnal glory. The opening rhythm is a stuttering beat that allows layers upon layers of silk synths to coalesce and fall before a thumb piano shimmers into view, making the formally sexy sound just a bit more haunting. For most, this would be too many elements to cram together, for a polymath like Shigeto, it was a second-nature flex.