ZGTO - A Piece of the Geto
In a city famed for its disparate and varied musical excellence, the Detroit-based alignment of feted electronic artist and producer Shigeto and rapidly rising Bruiser Brigade member ZelooperZ is an entirely natural thing. Introduced by mutual friends in the city, an instant bond was formed, and ZGTO was born.
Over a two-year period, ZelooperZ and Shigeto would collaborate and experiment, honing their sound without any preconceived notions of its final form or an eventual release. Eventually and inevitably though, a full length record transpired.
For Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, A Piece of the Geto is the first time he’s musically stepped out the box of a solo artist and exclusively worked with a vocalist on a project. The opportunity to work with someone seemingly a world away from Shigeto musically, had obvious appeal:
“It’s a representation of what two brothers from completely different environment can give each other,” explains Shigeto. “The music is freedom for us. It’s a chance to say that all of those rules that you thought existed, don’t exist.”
A Piece Of The Geto is not exactly like any other album. There is a “less is more” philosophy with the production where the vocals of ZelooperZ are seamlessly interlaced into the fabric of the beats. It’s minimal in a sense, but the emotion felt through the words of ZelooperZ makes the songs as a whole intense and heavy with sentiment.
“I think our music makes people feel things,” says Shigeto. “To be yourself, to be who you want to be, and to be friends and have love for who you want to have love for.”
As their musical partnership progressed, the natural impact expanded each other’s peripheral. ZelooperZ gave Shigeto an opportunity to act as a real music producer, stepping away from the singularity of a solo artist and performer, to feed off of his collaborator and to expand his horizons. In return, this project gave ZelooperZ a new lane to embrace his various artistic sides that he might not have shown before.
“It’s a piece from him and it’s a piece from me,” says ZelooperZ. “It’s a piece from both of us. The whole process has been that. We are just putting in our pieces. It’s like a puzzle that was never supposed to fit together. It looks crazy but the vibe is fun.”
For ZelooperZ, a resident of the west side of Detroit, he’s had a gift with words since he was a kid, growing up in an environment immersed in the street hustle. He would soon have a bigger outlook on life and A Piece of the Geto is his way of expressing that.
“I want my audience to get out of this what I felt when I was making this,” describes ZelooperZ. “I want to feel euphoria. I want to feel love. I want to feel heartbreak. Not only that, I want them to understand their heartbreak they are going through, understand the love they are going through, and understand you can do what you want to do in life.”
As much as A Piece of the Geto is an intimate reflection of a budding personal and musical relationship between ZelooperZ and Shigeto, it more so shows that people from separate worlds experience all the same types of pleasure and pain, and can come together to express that through whatever they choose to do or create.
A Piece of the Geto was released on vinyl in collaboration with Ghostly International by Third Man Records.” - Ghostly Press Release
ZGTO - A Piece of the Geto, released on Ghostly International on August 4, 2017.
Written and produced by Zachary Shigeto Saginaw
Recorded on West Grand Blvd. and at High Bias Recordings
Mixed by Christopher Koltay, ZelooperZ and Shigeto at High Bias Recordings, Detroit
Exterior photography by Kristin Adamczyk
Label photography by Jon DeCola
Logo designed by Michael Burdick
Design by Ben Saginaw and Vinnie Massimino
Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters
A1. Drownin in the Paint
A2. Long Ass Time
A5. Band Man
B1. Off Dat
B2. Atomic Fog
B4. Unconditional Love
CD / Streaming:
01. Drownin in the Paint
02. Long Ass Time
05. Band Man
07. Off Dat
08. Atomic Fog
10. Unconditional Love
GI-305, Streaming, WAV/MP3 download
GI-305 / TMR-497, Ghostly International & Third Man Records, Smoke marble vinyl, 2017-08-04, limited to 1,500 units
Bass guitar on “Whippin” by Jonathan Maron
Additional production on “Everlast” by Black Noi$e
Directed by Tone Foster
Director/Editor: Shane Patrick Ford
Director of Photography: Edward Knight, Jr.
Producer: Troy Bowman, Jr.
Steadicam Operator: Greg Johnson
1st AC: Anton Miasnikov
1st AC: Litong Zheng
Gaffer: Joe Vargo
Grip: Max Rubner
Casting/Wardrobe: Kristin Adamczyk
HMU: Evie Selaty
Talent: Nisa Seal
Special Thanks to Cuppetelli and Mendoza, Red Bull House of Art, E&H Packing, and Kellan Lee.
“A Piece of the Geto” (Short Film)
A CA$$AVA Production
Created by: Devin Williams, Walter Williams, Alexander Gao
Produced by Alexander Gao
Starring: Mister Cotton (The Narrator), Walter Williams (ZelooperZ), Zachary Saginaw (SHIGETO), Bobby Ladan, Dior Leggette
Director of Photography: Cy Abdelnour
Production Designer: Christiana Laine
Stylist: Bobby Ladan
1st AC: Derek Danbridge
Sound Editor: John Kallen
Title Design: Vinnie Massimino
Production Sound Mixer: Mark Broe & Nick Bottesi
Swing: Peter Herold
Production Assistant: Trey Sarmento
Spencer & Saginaw - “Real Talk”
The second release from PGS, released two weeks after A Piece of the Geto, featuring Walter Williams (ZelooperZ), in collaboration with Bill Spencer. Recorded during the same sessions that spawned A Piece of the Geto and The New Monday.
The New Monday
Recorded concurrently with A Piece of the Geto, featuring ZelooperZ on “Barry White” and “A2D (AAPV).”