Shigeto puts a spell on The Brudenell – Live Review

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By Jack

Detroit based multi-instrumentalist Shigeto stands alone on stage. Before him, a full drum kit, samplers, mixers, and assorted paraphernalia. Watching him perform is to see a virtuoso pushing at the limits of his play. It’s a wonderful thing to see.

The crowd is receptive to the opening acts. Sleepdebt is very much the one-man-and-his-mixer act, providing textured ambience with some inspired samples thrown in – Arianne Grande to name one. Laminate Plastic Animals follow with a lush blend of tropical samples and live drumming. Add to that vocal harmonies that, despite the electronic feel, are closer to The Civil Wars than The xx. It’s a well curated line-up.

Shigeto’s blend of subversive funk doesn’t seem like a crowd pleaser, but a sizable drove has braved the Monday drizzle. What they are greeted to is a mish-mash, the work of an auteur converting what were already complex compositions on record into something even more individual on stage – cut-ups re-arranged into a polyptych.

 It can be hard to pick out individual tracks due to the flowing one-take nature of turntableism. The New Monday is well served, ‘Barry White’ sounds great but even better is ‘Detroit Part II’ – squiggly descending bass, raspy horns and energetic live drumming make it a stand-out.

It’s clear Zach Saginaw studied the drums as these are his primary focus His drumming is explosive and transformative, elevating his loungier numbers into propulsive dance. This is certainly no diva performance, Saginaw visibly slogging his guts out, dripping with sweat and straining under the weight of his complex rhythms.

I’ve seen drummers play on time, but Shigeto seems to be playing on time in about five different signatures. A mesmerising live performer.

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