steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"New Crossings" EP

Moodgadget Records

Genre: electronic, ambient

Ann Arbor, USA

Oct 6 2008

Shigeto's New Crossings EP is a concise dose of atmospheric music. The press release claims that it'll teleport you straight into such quotidian environments as "the deep of winter" or maybe "calmly hovering over a helicopter propeller" or perhaps "your Introduction to Music class when the professor plays some electronica track and asks you what it sounds like, to illustrate that yes, music can be made to sound like stuff." Okay, I made that last one up. New Crossings consists of five tracks with carefully orchestrated textures that are designed to sound like stuff (specifically, their titles). Shigeto plays with keyboards, sound effects, insistent beats and slightly angular ostinato melodies to build his tunes. In general, they're moderately hypnotic and relaxing. So they serve their intended purpose.

As foreground music, some of the tracks are more interesting than others. Opener "May" is arid and unmemorable. But "Winter Thaw," which gradually progresses from crunchy static sound effects to watery-sounding keyboards, kind of hints at a story (though it doesn't really elaborate beyond the title) and is dynamic enough to merit attention throughout. My favorite track on the EP is "Helicopters in the Sky," which uses spacey sound effects and jumpy microtonal shifts to evoke thoughts of a surreal and spooky environment. It's easily the most viscerally striking and thought-provoking composition on New Crossings. As for the rest of the tracks, if you feel like spacing out they certainly won't hinder you, but they're not exactly soulful. Strangers talk about the weather, and even after listening to New Crossings' soundscapes I still don't feel like I really know Shigeto, other than that he's probably very meditative.

shigeto's myspace


Rhett Alexander

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]