Posts Tagged ‘Ume in the Middle’

Ume in the Middle review at

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009


We got a nice review from Underwire a popular culture blog at

On Ensemble’s most recent effort, Ume in the Middle, is an interesting hybrid that should appeal equally to fusion aficionados and left-fielders in search of something stranger than the average jazz-hop fare found on indie labels like Ninja Tune.

Wired magazine is one of the few magazines I actually buy.  Usually it’s at an airport for inflight reading material, but being a magazine on all things high tech maybe I should be visiting the website instead.

BTW a lot of my favorite artists are on the Ninja Tune and Big Dada (Ninja Tune’s hip hop arm) including: Anti Pop Consortium, Diplo, DJ Vadim and the Cinematic Orchestra.  So Ninja Tune if you are reading this we are not too strange for you… really… please sign us.

One particular Jason Swinscoe Cinematic Orchestra album that has had an influence on my music is Everyday.  It’s a great album featuring vocals by Fontella Bass and amazing drumming by Luke Flowers.  I blame the track “Flite” for convincing me that, yes odd time grooves with just a bit of melodic material are interesting for six and half minutes.

“Ume in the Middle” CMJ debut

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

A number of stations added “Ume in the Middle” this week including KBSU in Boise ID, WRBU in Peoria IL ,KRCX in Denver CO, and WBRS in Waltham, MA.  KEXP in Seattle spun “Yamasong”, KSYM in San Antonio played “After Rain” and lots of support from WXDU in Durham who played “After Rain”, “Waiting”, “Yamasong” and “Hiroya vs. Miniboss”.  We’ve had a substantial increase in radio airplay this week with more stations giving “Ume in the Middle” light and medium airplay.  We’re getting medium ariplay from KRUA Anchorage, WSDP Canton, WGTB Washington, WPTS Pittsburgh, WUAG Greensboro, XTSR Townson, WPMD  Norwalk and KNDS Fargo.  We’re getting light airplay from over twenty stations across the country including WCSB and WRUW Cleveland, WIIT Chicago, KEXP Seattle, WMBR Cambridge and KSYM San Antonio. We made the New World charts at several stations inlcuding: WCCS (#22), CJAM (#5), WXDU (#5), WMPG (#4) and WITR (#8), this was all enough to have “Ume in the Middle” debut at #40 on the CMJ New World Chart this week! (more…)

On Ensemble on the radio

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

More radio stations continue to add and play “Ume in the Middle”.  Here’s the latest list of station that have added “Ume in the Middle” to their play lists: (more…)

Metro Spirit review

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

We got a very nice review from Brett Hall in Metro Spirit an independent newsweekly based out of Augusta, GA:

When asked to define the term “avant-garde,” the majority of laypersons will probably answer with an arched brow and something like, “Um, weird art?” Well, for those of you who have not yet experienced a concrete example of avant-garde work, meet On Ensemble’s second CD release, “Ume In The Middle.” From start to finish, Ume introduces, displays, manipulates, and transforms several musical genres (traditional and new), molding them into a truly avant-garde experience. (more…)

“Ume in the Middle” available now!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Today is the official release date for “Ume in the Middle”!  It’s available now at and on iTunes. We’re also hitting the road to celebrate the release of our new album with up coming performances in Ashland, Tahoe, Placerville and Berkeley.  Next month we’ll be in Eugene and the month after that  we’ll have some Los Angeles performances and perform at the California WorldFest along with this year’s headliners Los Lobos and the Indigo Girls.

Wildy’s World review

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Here’s an excerpt from Wildy’s World review of “Ume in the Middle”:

On Ensemble is a rarity in the realms of popular music; they are wholly original. Ostensibly a Taiko ensemble (ancient Japanese drumming), On Ensemble mixes that venerable art with Hip-Hop, Rock and electronica to create sounds very few people have heard before.

It’s a fairly positive review though we only score 3.5/5 stars…  That’s like a C-.  I once got a C- in the seventh grade on a grammar quiz and cried.  I guess you can’t win them all.

I think one of the most brutal reviews we ever got was from Chris Beyond at No-Fi Magazine. He called our first album “Dust and Sand”: “pretty cool for dinner background music” and “not something I’d listen to often, but your parents would appreciate it.”

OUCH!  Just not the thing you want to hear after you’ve poured countless hours and a decent part of your soul into an album.  The best part about it was I think he was actually trying to say something positive.  To be fair “Dust and Sand” was not really the kind of fare that No-Fi usually covers.  Which is our basic problem when presenting our music to a wider audience.  Being a unique band with a unique sound is both our greatest strength and greatest weakness.

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.

“Ume in the Middle” press campaign kick-off

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Our press campaign for “Ume in the Middle” is just getting started.  We’re excited to be working with the Planetary Group to promote our new album and I’ll be posting the reviews and press we get as it comes in.  Our first review comes from AndMoreAgain:

Instead of worldbeat, often a combination of different cultures, you might call On Ensemble’s unique club music taiko beat. On Ume in the Middle, the Silverlake quartet fuses Japanese drumming with electronic loops and effects. The multi-ethnic outfit also incorporates throat singing, koto, and shinobue into their Eastern-tinged melange, resulting in melodies designed as much for meditation as for moving, i.e. the tempo is never slow enough for sleeping, nor so fast that dancing is the only option.

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