Live review: Shigeto at Oval Space



The Michigan born producer delivers a well crafted set for the eyes and ears.

Taking shelter from a cold February evening within the smokey confines of East London’s Oval Space is rarely a bad idea. Last Thursday was no exception as the venue’s Ovation live music series greeted us with a mini showcase from some of the Ghostly International label roster. The innovative multi-platform collective, who also delve into art gallery and technology, staged three acts with the talisman Shigeto heading the bill.

We entered into the usually dark main space where Lord RAJA was taking care of early proceedings on stage at the far end of the room. RAJA’s shadowy figure stationed to one side avoided the main stage lights illuminating Shigeto’s centred drum kit often glowing in blue and purple smog. Although this didn’t stop him from drawing in closer the gradually filling audience as his set took us on a journey from heavy atmospheric electronica to deep Afro-house to post-dubstep house. We were all suitably warm just before Heathered Pearls made sure with an hour of ambient deep techno.

As Shigeto finally took to the stage, he started off slowly as he took the audience on spacey a meandering trip, manipulating and distorting sampled droning and industrial notes. Then with the introduction of the drums, we were brought back down from an unknown space we had levitated into, to a more familiar world of experimental electronic hip-hop. Shigeto’s unmistakable drumming talents came as no surprise and there was as much style as there was substance. Yet it was the fine balance he controlled between his playing and the electronic passages and loops he simultaneously cued into the set that impressed most. At times the sound could have been a little clearer however this was a minor detail particularly on ‘Searching’ which had heads and bodies bopping. The crowed then really grooved to the excellent ‘Detroit 1’ serving as one of the final pieces to a well formed and executed performance.

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