In the past century, the city of Detroit has been responsible for the rise of some of the most iconic sounds in popular music – not least because it was the birthplace of a little subgenre and label known as Motown. But it’s also had a huge hand in the formation of the sounds associated with techno, with some of the genre’s most iconic artists – Juan Atkins and Derrick May among them – hailing from the city (and indeed the same school, Belleville High).
Four years on from the release of his last LP ‘No Better Time Than Now’, producer Zach Saginaw, better known as Shigeto, has come to become part of the fabric of Detroit’s music scene, having had a stint in New York. As such, his upcoming album ‘The New Monday’ is set to be more about the city’s community than anything else – even its title is named after the DJ event that Saginaw runs in the Motor City alongside a group of friends.
But with such a rich musical heritage to mine, crafting an album that nods to the records that have helped put the city on the sonic map isn’t an easy task. Yet, with its lead single ‘Detroit Part II’, Saginaw subtly nods to the creativity of the metropolis while also maintaining his core sound. Harnessing beats that wouldn’t be out of place on a techno track and lowering the BPM somewhat, Saginaw weaves a slow-burning track that propels itself on an elastic bassline and, in its dusty percussive elements, gives a little nod to hip hop too. Just to top it off, saxophonist Marcus Elliot provides those added smooth jazz vibes that punctuates the track, a staple of much of Shigeto’s work. It’s a sophisticated slice of genre-bending electronica that’s all Shigeto’s own, but that also serves as an introduction to his musical ode to the city.