Top 18 Albums of 2012 – #13 Shigeto – Lineage

Lucky #13. I want to take a second to talk about how artists can stand out based on the label they’re on. I try my best to tell you what labels that the artists on the list come from, in hopes that you check out other talent on their lineup and perhaps discover a particular musical niche that you’re into.

I remember hearing about Ghostly International in URB Magazine a looong time ago…hadn’t really started listening to their stuff besides Dabrye and some scattered Matthew Dear tracks, until last year my eyes were opened to the world of Ghostly. SF’s own Tycho (#5 on last year’s list) is on Ghostly, as is the fantastic Matthew Dear. Ghostly was forged in Ann Arbor, MI and still has their roots firmly implanted in the Detroit neighbor. Gold Panda signed on to the Ghostly label and has been putting music out for them since 2010. Other artists include Com Truise, School of Seven Bells and the focus of this post, the magnificent Shigeto.


Before delving into Lineage and what makes it such a crowning accomplishment of a record, i’ll try and explain what i love about Ghostly: It stems from their ability to transcend music and art, bring both together the way they bring the sounds together of all of their artists. The Ghostly sound is about fuzing sonic influences; With a heavy focus on electronica, drawn from the legendary Detroit techno scene and motown Jazz, but welcoming ambient sounds and other electronic schools like atmospheric drum and bass, chill out and downtempo. It’s all so carefully crafted and complex and they’ve done their homework in choosing what artists sounds to welcome into their family and add to the constantly evolving, yet uncompromising direction of their music.

Becoming a part of that family is where Shigeto comes in. He’s said before that he’s been influenced by the early label artists and in my eyes, this record is quite possibly the most “Ghostly” of them all. It’s exactly what i want from my favorite label. It’s a cosmic journey into some tripped out world from beginning to end. It’s jazzy electronica that’s as mellow as a trio playing in a dark jazz club on a somber Wednesday night. It’s rhythmic ambient with just the right touch of everything. It’s the son of Ann Arbor playing on the label that’s defining the new, progressive sound of the area. It’s the evidence of the culture and progress that lives on in Detroit. And I could sit here and post a few tracks and tell you about each one individually, but you need to listen to this album and experience the magnificent journey that Shigeto takes you on:

#13 Shigeto – Lineage on Ghostly International


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