An Innovative New LP
On October 6th, electronic music producer Shigeto released his fourth studio album entitled The New Monday. Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Shigeto incorporates a few different influences on the project, including jazz, hip-hop, and techno. While the album has much more of a jazz influence than some of the other genres, it still manages to blend together nicely creating an highly unique listening experience.
The album was released on Ghostly International, an indie electronic music label also located in Ann Arbor. The local culture of the area is apparent on the album. This is not only apparent through the techno influence, which was prominent on the local scene and eventually spawned the “Detroit Techno” sub-genre, but also through references in certain song titles such as “Barry White” who was a prominent NFL running back for the Detroit Lions. Despite these cultural references The New Monday crafts its own distinct sound that cannot be confined to a single category.
Most of the album is instrumental which gives Shigeto the room to flex his skills as a producer. Any lyrics that are present are rapped and not sung, with the only exception being the song “There’s a Vibe Tonight.” However, even on that track the vocals are actually vocal samples mixed with the instrumental breakbeat style drum pattern.
This approach to vocals works well for the album since it allows for more of the hip-hop influence to shine. While this is not a Hip-Hop album by any means nor is it not any sort of go to album for hip-hop, by utilizing rap as the album primarily lyrical style it shows that Shigeto can make hip-hop and thus more range in his musicianship.
The track that best showcases the Hip-Hop style on The New Monday is “A2D” which also probably the strongest lyrically. Other tracks include “Barry White” and “Wit da Cup,” however, “Wit Da Cup” functions more as a breakbeat which was more prominent in earlier styles of hip-hop.
All of the songs on the album share some kind of edm inspired influence. For instance on the song “Wit Da Cup” the breakbeat style is thoroughly intertwined with synths and pads that are commonly utilized in electronic dance music. Songs such as “Ice Breaker”, which leans heavily towards a more distinct techno sound, and “Detroit Part II” which lightens up on the techno influence and integrates more of a jazzy feel, do an excellent job of blending styles of music in a progressive fashion.
The genre that stands out most on this album by far is jazz. Shigeto does an amazing job of incorporating beautiful jazz saxophone and piano compositions into his music and most often these are the songs that include no lyrics which allows for greater focus on the instrumentation. The song that best demonstrates this, also happens to be the best song on the album “When We Low.” This song intertwines the piano and saxophone beautifully and the atmospheric pads, light synths, thick bass, and minimal drums make this track absolutely amazing.
Overall this album has it’s own unique experience for listeners to enjoy. This is largely due to the difference influences that played a significant influence in the conception of the album. Fans of any of the genres intertwined on The New Monday should have an appreciation for.