Teebs, Shlohmo, Shigeto. They all make music that sounds so short and pleasant that you can't call them songs. They're more like interludes that perfectly soundtrack things like your walk to the bank, a wait in line for coffee or the moments you lie awake in bed before falling into a deep sleep. They don't make albums. They make mood enhancers. Depending on how you consume music, your mileage may vary. If you want a grand statement—an album—then you'll be slightly disappointed by these artists and Lineage. If you're looking for some tunes to smoke a spliff to after work on a Friday? This is going to be some platinum kush.
In contrast to his aforementioned contemporaries, Shigeto's Lineage feels more full-bodied and cohesive, even if the sound palette is similar in many ways. As the first kick drum drops in "Lineage (Prologue)," there's no mistaking this for anything other than speaker-bothering low end, even if it takes another few minutes to have a bassline come in and confirm. The boom-clack of "A Child's Mind," "Huron River Drive" and "Soaring" are reminiscent programming-wise of Dilla; Shigeto gives his beats room to breathe, and also twists them right when you're starting to find them tedious.
It'd be hard to find the beats too tiresome, though, given all of the garnishing that is around them. "Soaring" revels in a revolving harp sample and dreamy synths, while "Ann Arbor Part 3 & 4" layers on the keys about as high as Scott Herren before he gave up Savath & Savalas for Prefuse73. But these early tracks are deceiving, to a certain extent, because it's in the back half of Lineage that Shigeto points toward possible futures for his project that might make Shlohmo and Teebs comparisons moot someday.
"Field Trip" is a much-needed jolt of electricity, its quick beat matched in buoyancy by its endearing melody. "Please Stay" even goes 4/4—DJs who love their Floating Points and Theo Parrish may find some worth in its layabout, rainy day house. What's perhaps most striking about the songs on Lineage is their arrangements, however. You get the sense that Shigeto has an innate sense of song structure. With Teebs and Shlohmo you often float away, with Lineage your feet feel firmly planted on the ground. (That's what the kush is for.)
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Tracklist: Shigeto - Lineage 01. Lineage (Prologue)
03. Ann Arbor Part 3 & 4
05. A Child's Mind
06. Huron River Drive
07. Field Trip
08. Please Stay