Frank Omura

 
FrankOmura-Banner.png

Unshaven Face

 

“Unshavenface has the tools to terrorize a dancefloor like an old Kompakt Speicher release. Omura uses a large and diverse palette of sounds with intensity, like a fanned-out Swiss army knife thrown at your face.” - Moodgadget press release

August 13, 2018 was a solid for Zachary Shigeto Saginaw: Moodgadget released two EPs, under different aliases, as Frank Omura (Unshaven Face), and Shigeto’s (New Crossings). From a historian’s perspective, the only good way to say Unshaven Face came out first is by looking at Moodgadget’s catalog numbers. If you were to ask me to unfairly compare New Crossings and the first Frank Omura EP, Unshaven Face feels slightly more focused, a dedicated effort at making minimal-leaning techno and acid.

Time can treat music unfairly: digital synth sounds went out of vogue in the early 2010s, perhaps as a reaction to the explosion of post-Justice French Touch, the proliferation of stock Ableton sounds or the arrival of EDM, with an increasing fetishization in the underground of vintage analog synths by both producers & the music press. Now, digital synths are almost a breath of fresh air, in tape hiss saturated, overly analog-leaning nightclubs playing ‘lo-fi house.’ Unshaven Face is charming, with a sound that’s appropriately mid-to-late aughts, which could have been at home on Ghostly’s Spectral Sound imprint, or in a mix alongside a False track.

For any press claiming Shigeto “discovered” Detroit dance music around The New Monday, you simply didn’t dig deep enough into the back catalog.

Unshaven Face is, if I’m going out on a limb, proto-PGS, the cast of characters nearly all there: two songs feature Charles Trees as his alter-ego Mingus Rude (“The Juggernaut Audition” and “Music To Make Robots To”), with artwork illustrated by Ben Saginaw.

On a side note, if you’re wondering whether the Frank Omura tracks hold up on a dance floor, yes: Zach and Ben played them at Body Worx recently, and they slapped. - VM, 2019

All Rise

 

“Michigan artist Frank Omura returns with a second EP, comprising five tracks of varied, maximal dancefloor electronica. 'All Rise' is supremely bizarre, produced with a nauseating wooziness that's all too scarce in the all-too clinical world of 4/4 techno. Next comes the super-compressed, ultra-melodic 'Japanese Combat Sequence', which takes on a tuneful, electro-influenced impetus before 'Guns And Magic' supplies yet more disorientating techno lunacy. The most 'useful' track here is the scrunched-up, Detroit-influenced 'Infect Them All', which is the one most likely to be played out - and very fine it is too, although that welcome touch of madness returns with the rampant, overdriven acid track 'A.A.A.'.” - Boomkat review

Moodgadget promotional web ad, circa All Rise

Moodgadget promotional web ad, circa All Rise

Screenshot of the Frank Omura MySpace, late 2008

Screenshot of the Frank Omura MySpace, late 2008

Release

 

Unshaven Face, released on Moodgadget on August 13, 2008.

Written and produced by Zachary Shigeto Saginaw
Recorded in Ann Arbor
Artwork by Ben Saginaw

Streaming / Download:

01. May
02. Winter Thaw
03. Evergreen
04. Helicopter in the Sky
05. New Crossings

MGT-21, Streaming/download, 2008-08-13

 
Frank Omura All Rise.jpg

All Rise, released on Moodgadget on December 8, 2008.

Written and produced by Zachary Shigeto Saginaw
Recorded in Ann Arbor
Artwork by Ben Saginaw

Streaming / Download:

01. All Rise
02. A.A.A.
03. Japanese Combat Sequence
04. Guns and Magic
05. Infect the Lot

MGT-32, Streaming/download, 2008-12-08


Videos

 

Moodgadget Summer Tour 2009 - Part 1
Directed by Alex Koplin
“This is the first chapter of the Moodgadget 2009 Tour Compilation video, with video and photos of wacky antics and performances from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago and Cincinnati with Shigeto, D. Gookin, Charles Trees, Mogi Grumbles, Calmer, Worst Friends, Guardian, Mux Mool and more! Stay tuned for the next chapter, with full-length footage from shows in Brooklyn and Baltimore!”

Features an unreleased Shigeto song, “Sun and Mash.”

Frank Omura vs. Mingus Rude - Live @ Coco66
“Just a teaser of some footage from the Moodgadget Label Showcase at Coco66 (Brooklyn) on Wed June 3rd. Shown playing is Frank Omura vs. Mingus Rude - Japanese Combat Sequence, you also get a glimpse of Mogi Grumbles and Moodgadget co-founder Jakub Alexander up front.

This footage will be included in a larger compilation of footage from the showcase and tour, this is just to whet your appetite.” - Alex Koplin, 2009

”I think there were only 3 people at that show, one of them was Dai” - Zach, 2019

See also

 

The New Monday
Dance music, Detroit-influenced music

Spencer & Saginaw - Real Talk
Acid

New Crossings
Released the same day as Unshaven Face