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Dust and Sand

3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 1, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


"...their (On Ensemble's) innovative vocabulary bends and refreshes the imagination." -- CDBaby, August 1, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 1, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: August 1, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: On Ensemble
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,040 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By attackwithdecay on November 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What a fantastic adaptation to a medium that has not represented taiko very well. Taiko is such a visual art form, that straight-forward recordings of songs tend to lose the vitality of a live performance. It is so rare to hear a taiko recording that has been adapted to the strengths and weaknesses of the album format.

What am I trying to say? That On Ensemble has made an unquestionably great album. If you have seen them live, you know that in addition to their musical chops, they have beautiful choreography and movements. For the album, they didn't just record songs without the dance. They took the time to rework and adapt the material, and that time is well-spent.

It is an album that highlights their varied backgrounds, most notably their time spent mastering the turntable and Tuvan throat-singing. The sound of the koto on Gengakki is part-way between a stately court instrument and a slap bass, and the resulting song is both beautiful and funky. Overall, the attitude of the album is slow and relaxed, picking up speed on only a few numbers like Zeecha, which is certainly different than the standard taiko sound of loud-and-fast-as-possible.

In some ways, "Dust and Sand" plays like electronica written by a drummer. There are no harsh or distorted electric sounds, but the home-studio Pro Tools-esque sound effects are evident, and they mix well with the earthy sound of instuments made of wood and cowhide. It will get your head bobbing without resorting to techno cliches, or lazy drum machine programming.

The song-writing is rhythmically complex, which should give percussionists something to smile about, but while most drummers' songs eschew melody for extended drum solos, On Ensemble keeps the groove going and the non-drum-geek listener engaged throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Uyeno on October 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I was fortunate enough recently to see On Ensemble in concert (ON '06: ROUROU) in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles in a small, yet intimate venue (David Henry Hwang Theatre). Patrick Graham, another great percussionist in his own right, was the guest musician from Montreal, Canada. Not that listening to their CD isn't a moving certainly is! But, listening to them is like listening to the Blue Man Group. Half the performance is visual. The choreography in Taiko drumming is half the performance. I encourage anyone who has bought their CD to also get their DVDs as well. The choreography and lighting cues make the performance all that much more interesting and creative.

Creative is almost an understatement when describing these artists! Amazing how they fuse the modern with the traditional. They studied traditional Taiko in Japan, honing their craft. Along with traditional Taiko drums made in Japan they fuse a modern drum set, the tambourine and record scratching in their musical mix. Speaking of the tambourine, Patrick Graham did a solo number using several tambourines...I never realized how many sounds nor how deep a sound one could get from the tambourine. At first I cynically thought, a solo on tambourine? I'm sure others felt and thought the same as I did at the beginning, but at the end of Graham's solo number we were all spellbound! Google his name. Amazon edited my reference to his webiste.... :-(

I really can't wait for On Ensemble to come out with another CD...and live concert! Catch them if they're in your neighborhood. They do play around the nation. According to their website they've played in and around Los Angeles (their hometown), San Fransisco, Montreal, Hawaii, New York, etc. so they should be coming to your city soon. Check their website: ...Amazon edited my reference to their site too so google them. :-\

These guys are amazing! And that's not hyperbole!
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By Robert B. Ames on November 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Been looking for this CD for some time. Found it at Amazon for a great price and with very fast shipping.
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