Archive for April, 2009

TAIKO X2 photos

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Mari has a few pics of our recent TAIKO X2 performance with Kenny Endo at her blog Hypostulate.  We love working with Mari, she’s a very talented MFA Candidate in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design.  She took the photos and did the design for our UKIYO LIVE cd and her online portfolio can be viewed at

No Eyed Bird review

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Just got another review of “Ume in the Middle”.  It’s quite a nice and detailed review so visit No Eyed Bird to read the full review:

On Ensemble delivers that mysterious, hypnotic attraction to beats with the release Ume In The Middle. Melding together traditional Japanese Taiko music with modern electro and jazz, the CD delivers delectable beats and blips with a dash of drone.

LMNOP review

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Just got a nice review of “Ume in the Middle” by

Truly interesting and innovative stuff. On Ensemble is the quartet consisting of Masato Baba, Kristofer Bergstrom, Shoji Kameda, and Kelvin Underwood. These four individuals are heavily integrated into the world of music with hefty connections as far as the arm can reach. They are well-respected teachers, workshop leaders, and composers as well as performers. Ume In The Middle is a beautifully packaged album featuring a die cut front insert as well as a clear plastic sleeve that caresses the jewel case. The exquisite packaging is a perfect fit for the music contained within. Ume features nine tracks full of boundless imagination. Some of the tracks are surprisingly accessible while others are rather progressive and spontaneous. Instead of going for one style or sound, these folks apparently just let their imagination run wild. The results…are intriguing and strangely hypnotic. Our favorite cuts include “Yamasong,” “Hiroya vs. Miniboxx,” and “Bounce Back.” After hearing too many generic pop bands, this one comes across like a cool blast of fresh air… (Rating: 5+)

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