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Ume In the Middle

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Customer Reviews

Takes their work to a new level...

I've followed this group for years now, since their inception. Their live shows have always been spectacular--rhythmic virtuosity matched with innovative instrumentation and fluid choreography--but there was always something lost in the recording experience. With Ume In The Middle, the On Ensemble's recorded music has finally risen to a level that matches their live experience. The extra ingredient that bridged that gap is production values; Ume In The Middle has top notch, cutting edge acoustic-electric production. There are songs that in my mind echo some of Radiohead's better moments on their later albums, particularly 'Silverback'. 'After Rain' is the quintessential On Ensemble anthem, bringing together a lot of their signature elements--tapped koto, drum kit, throat singing, with a little bit of sliced-and-diced Japanese percussion processing for good measure. But lest we forget their roots in traditional taiko, we have a wonderfully cheery coda in 'Bounce Back'. I still think there's room for growth with the group; while I like that they're exploring vocals and songwriting, I think they're still searching for an angle that's as unique as the rest of their sound. But still, this album is a major step forward for them, and puts them comfortably amongst the best of world-beat and electronica.

Ume In the Middle, On Ensemble
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Mar 27, 2009

Customer Ratings