• Shigeto’s No Better Time Than Now

Personally speaking, I find electronic music to be one of the most difficult genres to write about. Because of a lack of any lyrical context, it’s hard to position a strong critical tack to the music, especially when so much electronic music is aesthetically appealing even as it doesn’t have much in the way of concept or backstory. Shigeto’s recent album No Better Time Than Now, out now on Ghostly International, made me think about this recently. The album recalls many things: Jimmy Smith’s organ-based jazz, early glitch-hop Ghostly albums by artists like Dabrye, the recent experimental-hip-hop electronica of Flying Lotus, and even some world music along the lines of Ocora’s Empire Centraficain. It’s not an “original” melding of these genres, but the music is undeniably immersive and gorgeous, the different instruments and beats working in brain-soothing harmony. While the album works best as a whole, the standout track is undoubtedly “Detroit Part 1.” In his Soundboard write-up of a recent Shigeto concert, the Reader‘s Leor Galil wrote that on No Better Time Than Now “the warm notes land like raindrops in a pond and ripple smoothly through the songs.” That is an apt visual accompaniment to the music, where thumb pianos summon exactly that imagery. Check it out below the jump.