Shigeto means "to grow bigger" in Japanese, and it's both Zach Saginaw's middle name and his grandfather's name. Saginaw pays tribute to that side of his heritage with Japanese influences woven throughout his electronic compositions. After cutting his teeth on the drums, including a stint as drummer in the band School of Seven Bells, Saginaw turned his attention to electronic production.
At universities in London and New York City, Saginaw perfected his unique brand of electronica, learning to loop original recordings of strings, acoustic guitar and other analog instruments. Found sounds--from people yelling on the street to falling rain to banging items in his kitchen--add an extra layer that is fused with a driving bass line and vocal recordings. On "Ann Arbor Part 3 & 4" from Shigeto's 2012 release, Lineage, a piano gives way to tinkling wind chimes--it's a complex track that feels as delicate as porcelain.
During live performances, Shigeto flails at a drum set while simultaneously manipulating an array of synthesizers. What may be subdued or fragile on a recording grows large enough live to encompass the whole stage.