Episode 1 – Shigeto

During the summer of 2014, I got to meet drummer, producer, and Ghostly International recording artist, Zach ‘Shigeto’ Saginaw. Zac was in the UK as part of a European tour, and in Episode 1, we hear about Shigeto’s hometown of Ann Arbor, and his experiences growing up near Detroit. He talks about his musical beginnings, the challenges involved in performing live as an electronic artist, and the dangers of getting sick of your own work. These discussions are framed around ‘Sound Sources’ from Shigeto’s upbringing; tracks and influences which have shaped his musical journey so far, alongside productions of his own.

You can check Shigeto’s Sound Sources individually below, or in more detail on the ‘Sound Sources’ tab at the top of the page.

NOTE: You might need to launch Spotify for the below playlists to play correctly.

You can download the low-res podcast version of the show HERE.



 Shigeto – Detroit (Part 1) (Ghostly)

Shigeto – Ann Arbor (Parts 3 & 4) (Ghostly)
John Coltrane – Resolution (Impulse!)
Lusine – Drip (Ghostly)
Matthew Dear – Fex (Ghostly)
Boards of Canada – Beautiful Place Out In The Country (Warp)
Medina Green – Crosstown Beef (Rawkus Records)
Dabrye – Hyped Up Plus Tax  (Ghostly)
Brian Blade Fellowship – Folklore (Blue Note)
Dabrye – Hyped Up Plus Tax  (Ghostly)
Shigeto – May (Ghostly)
Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now (Ghostly)
Shigeto – Perfect Crime (Ghostly)
Mount Kimbie – Maybes (Hotflush)
Mount Kimbie – Made To Stray (Warp)
Shigeto – Ring Leader (Ghostly)
Shigeto – First Saturn Return (Ghostly)
Shigeto – Tide Pools (Ghostly)

Sound Sources

 Ann Arbor, Michigan

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has had a significant influence on Zach’s output. As well as appearing in the titles of a number of his productions,  the landscapes of his hometown frequently feature on his beautiful Instagram.





John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

As a youngster growing up in Michigan, Zach Shigeto dreamt of being a professional jazz musician, and the albums listed below played a significant role in his early musical education:

  • Pharaoh Sanders – The Creator Has A Master Plan
  • Miles Davis – Four & More Live In Concert 1964
  • Louis Smith – Here Comes Louis Smith
  • Bill Evans – Waltz For Debbie
  • Herbie Hancock – Empyrean Isles

John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme was recorded in late 1964 and released on Impulse! Recordings in 1965.

More info…

Dabrye – One:Three

In High School, Shigeto discovered electronic music through local label Ghostly International. Below are a number of the key releases that initially opened his ears up to electronic music:

  • Matthew Dear – Leave Luck to Heaven
  • Disco Nouveau: One (various artists)
  • Charles Manier – Bang Bang Lover
  • Midwest Product – Specifics
  • Lusine – Serial Hodgepodge

But a key record for the young jazz head was Dabrye – One:Three, which came out Ghostly International in June, 2001.

Brian Blade – Fellowship

Shigeto headed east for college, to continue his jazz drumming development at The New School, New York. At the time, one of his idols and a big influence on his drumming style was Brian Blade, particularly the 1998 album, ‘Fellowship’, and namely the track ‘Folklore’.

Today, Brian continues to head up The Fellowship, whilst also collaborating with Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and touring with Wayne Shorter.

 Having dropped out of college and moved to London, Zach developed tendonitis, which meant he couldn’t play the drums for several months. To deal with the depression that came with this injury, his brother encouraged him to try producing rather than playing. This opened up a whole new world of music opportunities to Zac, allowing him to create his debut New Crossings EP in 2008.

Click the picture below to check a great XLR8R article from last year that goes in deep with Shigeto on a production tip.

Further Content

If there’s any other killer content on Shigeto that we should include here, holler.