When it comes to organic sampling, Zachary Shigeto Saginaw is a master. Much of the production scene these days is focused on chopping up other records with field recordings (following Jay Dee), but Shigeto has been building jazz and hip hop influenced soundscapes which arch and progress with an incomparable fluidity, rivaling Flying Lotus and Amon Tobin in regards to texture and depth.
Whereas his 2012 release Lineage was an exploration of his Japanese heritage, No Better Time Than Now has been described by the musician as a diary of the last year of his life (a year in which he moved from Brooklyn to Detroit, turned 30 years old, and ended a six-year relationship with his fiance). Needless to say, there’s a lot of emotion in this record, as Shigeto is one of the few artists in his genre capable of capturing and illustrating feelings we all have on some level without the need of lyrics.
This is one of my favorite records of the year to date. Honest. Smooth. Well composed. I don’t know what else to say.