Shigeto

No Better Time Than Now

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The title of Zach Saginaw's third Ghostly International album signifies a possible retreat from the producer's nostalgic nature. Instead, No Better Time Than Now is more about the steady development of his sound, which has become increasingly spacious and intricate at once, as well as more human and melodic, still shaped by his past as much as his present. Given the buoyant spirit streaked through some of the tracks, the album's title could be interpreted as a statement of contentment rather than as a motivational phrase. "Detroit, Pt. 1," his liveliest track yet, initially works a knocking beat worthy of Flying Lotus' Los Angeles against graceful electric piano and video-game blips, and then shifts into support for a dazzling thumb-piano pattern. "Ringleader" is filled with bustling percussion, while the title track is equally urgent with driving drums and a zipping near-frenzy of synthesizers. The wistful quality of his earlier releases remains through the quiet rustle of "Olivia," named after the street on which he grew up, and "Miss U," where the thumb piano acts more like an accent over firm drums, shimmering effects, and longing electric piano. "Silver Lining," a kind of sulking shuffle with heavily echoed and unintelligible chorus, likewise evokes a lonesome healing process. This is Saginaw's most colorful and accomplished release, and it indicates a vast range of individualistic possibilities for his next move.

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