Live Review: Shigeto, Shlohmo, and Braille at Glasslands GalleryPosted by Tarin Fasano
Saturday night Glasslands Gallery hosted an excellent good-bye party for (Zach) Shigeto (Saginaw). He’s going home to Michigan to work on his next album. Leading up to Shigeto’s live performance were vitalic DJ sets by Braille and Shlohmo. The intimate Williamsburg venue always has the deals on surprisingly good line-ups, granted shows rarely start before midnight. There’s amorphous tissue paper decor illuminated all around the stage, roving lasers, smoke machines, and a decent (but loud) sound-system.
The first set was by Braille, the Praveen Sharma half of Sepalcure. The Machinedrum half was in Berlin, but the two will perform together at PS1 in July. Braille’s solo work is innovative house, a mixture of metallic drive and floral intricacies. It’s hard to place – Chicago? Detroit? UK? Braille jokingly dubbed their sound “lovestep.” It’s bass-heavy but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Everyone was dancing.
Shlohmo is Henry Laufer, a young producer from LA. His beats have an understated elegance to them, even in the uncanny murk of Bad Vibes. Live, Shlohmo is more playful and hip-hop oriented. On stage he’s hyper and animated, intently feeling every beat. Mixing Drake, Shlohmo turned to mouth the lyrics at an imaginary confidante on his left. At one point he tossed a cigarette into his mouth and got theatrical about Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” Shlohmo’s got this awkwardly suave thing going on that makes him really fun to watch.
Dynamic as the first performances were, Shigeto’s live set killed it. As music grows increasingly conceptual, artists can shape cavernous tunes with their own two hands. But Shigeto reintroduces the physical element and plays a drumset onstage. The layers of diverse loops range from indulgent to intelligent. (“Shigeto” is Zach Saginaw’s middle name, and means “to grow bigger.” Perfect. He weighed less than a pound when he was born, but now he’s the master of textures.)
On a more somber note, some jerk stole Shigeto’s laptop from backstage. One of the guys from Lazer Sword, who had played next door at 285 Kent, commiserated. Apparently his computer’s been taken three times, once at gunpoint. Good beats are valuable. Shigeto said he didn’t have any of his new music backed up… is it better if it’s lost or leaked?