Gig Seeker Pro


Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Band World Alternative


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"10 bands to watch in 07 (cover story)"


Eclectic nine-piece ensemble Mifune - which blends Afrobeat, jazz, electronic dance music, rock, jazz, reggae and hip-hop, among other genres - was coming together throughout 2005, playing low-profile gigs and honing its crisp, expansive, deceptively understated style. But last spring, the group, formed by singer-guitarist Jacob Fader, his singer wife Christine and keyboardist Cutty in late 2004, reaped a publicity windfall when, during a noon show at Tower City Center for Tri-C's JazzFest, an antsy mall manager pulled the plug on the band because its members were wearing matching anti-Bush T-shirts. The sudden attention was just in time for the band's debut disc, Afro-Electronique, released in October. It's an accomplished disc that fully displays the band's appealing balance of cerebral and visceral qualities. "Supercrush" is a template for sweaty dance sets; "Patsy Cline" is brisk electronica, gently nudged by the group's three-piece horn section; and "Don't Do All Your Talkin' to Me" finds Christine morphing from the trip-hop dreamster she plays on "And the Morning Comes" into a big-voiced soul diva. The band's Afrobeat influence is most perfectly apotheosized on the agile "Storm Troopers," the CD's most overtly political tune. Its shows have become increasingly sophisticated; on New Years' Eve at the Grog Shop, it presents "Escape from Planet Cleveland" which will also feature world music DJ Jugoe and performance-art ensemble SAFMOD. - AP - cleveland free times

"Review of Mifune New Years Eve 2007"

Sunday, December 31
Miniature robots seemed to patrol the premises, while a starry backdrop and a variety of psychedelic lighting created an otherworldly atmosphere, as Mifune welcomed in 2007 at the Grog Shop with an "Escape from Planet Cleveland" show that more than lived up to its billing. Guitarist Jacob Fader and singer/wife Christine Fader hit the stage around 11:15 p.m. and led their Afro-beat/electronic ensemble through an extended set of funky grooves and tight jams that rocked the cosmos. The performance was reminiscent of the type of New Year's blowout that one usually has to travel to New York City or San Francisco to see, and if this show was any indication, Mifune is well on its way to raising Cleveland's cool factor to a higher level.
Carlos Jones and his PLUS Band guitarist Dan Shramo joined the band throughout the night and helped Mifune electrify the Grog Shop with what was surely the North Coast's best live dance party. Mifune's three-piece horn section added a tight precision and festive flavor to the musical mix as the Faders went through most of the songs from their debut CD, Afro-Electronique. The band also threw in a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Gimme Your Love," featuring sultry vocals and sublime flute from Christine, which then turned into a groovy jam fueled by Jones' percussion. Sound bites from retro sci-fi films and TV shows helped the band take the crowd on "adventures in time and space." Jacob Fader's psychedelia-infused guitar helped too, as "Supercrush" welcomed in midnight with a monstrous jam. Christine left the stage shortly thereafter, returned looking like one of Captain Kirk's alien girlfriends and played keyboards as keyboardist Cutty joined the horn section on tuba. Later, "the earth shook as radioactivity fell from the skies" and Mifune rocked the house with the politically charged "Stormtroopers," where Jacob Fader's vocals challenged Uncle Sam's Big Brother approach in the 21st century: "Cameras in your lives to make you feel safe from terror." The lyrics were thought-provoking while the music was booty-shaking. — Greg M. Schwartz
- the free times

"smooth operators"

Popcorn Youth: The name of your record is “Afro Electronique.” How would you define that to me? Is the term of your own conception?

Cutty: We really wanted to create our own genre as opposed to cram our music into predefined genres. Actually, Corbett, our bass player, came up with that name, and we decided it kind of represented a lot of what we did. The “afro” covers the Afrobeat influence, but not straight pure Afrobeat, but definitely influenced. And the “Electronique” is more ambiguous… We do use electronic elements, like Stereolab influences or whatever that connotes.

Popcorn Youth: Are you originally from Cleveland?

Cutty: Me personally, no. But I’ve been here for 10 years now.

Popcorn Youth: What is the dynamic like, being Mifune and being based in Cleveland, the “home of rock’n'roll”?

Cutty: The reception is actually quite positive because of the fact that it’s not something you hear everyday; you don’t hear a lot of bands go this direction at all in Cleveland, or even from other places traveling through Cleveland. It’s been cool watching the response, it’s definitely original people that respond to it, more niche-y people or music aficionados. But after the initial splash of friends and family coming to the first few shows or whatever, there’s been a big contingent of just middle-aged people, just based off the fact that it’s good music or whatever.

Popcorn Youth: Middle-aged people? Is that a large part of your demographic?

Cutty: It’s really quite interesting, actually. Our demographic stretches from, like, high school kids to middle-aged [people] our parents’ age.

Popcorn Youth: How old are you?

Cutty: I am 29. The range of our band is anywhere from around ambiguous early 30s (laughs) to around 24.

Popcorn Youth: And that roster is always changing?

Cutty: No, actually we’ve been really lucky. We haven’t changed, it started with me, Jake Fader, and Christine Fader, and then we kind of built it up and wrote a lot of songs and concepts and added the drummer, Jeremy [Miller] and the bass player Corbett [Hein], and that was our core five players. And then we were going to hire these horn players out, they were definitely a separate entity at first. We didn’t know any horn players as intimately as we knew each other, but Betty jeane [Wischmeier], the saxophone player, has been with us the whole time. She was somebody that we hired for our first demos that we cut, and then our debut show, and then we found the trumpet player through an ad… but once we’ve gotten our members, they’ve stayed in there.

Popcorn Youth: Christine and Jake are siblings or married?

Cutty: They’re married.

Popcorn Youth: So you’re in Cleveland now. Do you envision a move to NYC or LA?

Cutty: We have been on the road a little bit, but the way that we figure is that if we want to be successful at what we want to do with our career, we’re going to be pretty transient as it is. And as a home base right now, especially with our family contingent that we have — we have a child in the band and a couple of marriages and whatnot — and plus Cleveland is a lot cheaper. If you’re only going to be in a place one week for every eight weeks, it’s way easier to try to maintain that as your crash pad or mortgage than NYC, and then you travel to NYC or LA if that’s where you need to be. I personally feel that that’s a mistake that a lot of people make, is that move, and adding themselves to the masses of artists that pick up and move and go do their thing. You lose a lot of your individuality, whereas eyebrows raise when people say, “Oh, you’re from Cleveland?” That already gives you kind of a little bit of intrigue, especially when people say, “Oh, you sound like you’re from NYC” or whatever, and that’s kind of like a compliment. (Laughs)

Popcorn Youth: Is Jeremy a trained jazz drummer?

Cutty: No, I think his college training was in painting. His dad was a musician and [Jeremy] always described it, is as early as he could remember, he would go downstairs and there would be all these instruments set up in the basement, guitars and drums and he always picked the drums and just started playing them. He’s always played instruments, he started playing in groups with people way older than him in his early teenage years; his [training] is basically his life experience. He’s learned a lot.

Popcorn Youth: On your MySpace page, one of the tags you use to describe your music is drum’n'bass. Do you use computerized drum beats at all, or is it just the speed that inspires Mifune?

Cutty: No, but Jeremy has an electronic drum set that he has mixed in throughout his acoustic drums.

Popcorn Youth: Is he influenced by that kind of speed?

Cutty: Definitely as a drummer, he’s your modern drummer’s drummer. He definitely has a bevy of those beats. I think that Squarepusher and stuff like that, he does listen to, but by the same token he also likes straight metal or just straight art breaky jazz. Just as long as it has good drumming, he can just get really into it.

Popcorn Youth: So this idea of “Composer’s Collective” that you use is interesting because people understand composers in the context of working alone, not collaborating. So what did you mean by that, what is the songwriting process like?

Cutty: The true essence of the whole group started not even out of a performance-based goal, but just try to figure out how to emulate Spaghetti Western soundtracks and then Akira Kurosawa films, like the soundtrack music. And it kind of morphed into “why don’t we do this and listen to different music.” But we did decide to move into a band setting, and we wanted to maintain the openness of it, where anybody can bring anything to the table, and where it’s a three-headed monster at the head of the operation instead of just one person. And that’s good because we just naturally have a good checks and balance in place so it doesn’t get out of hand. The same thing goes with composition, we encourage anyone to do anything. But it’s never like, “Ok, this is my piece, and it’s going to go like this,” and things like that. Granted the composer will have the final veto or say, but it’s still very open. Or sometimes you’ll bring a riff to [someone else’s composition] and it will truly become a Mifune thing. We just feel that this will keep us fresher longer if we have that many more voices and share leadership throughout the group without having one specific person writing all the songs.

Popcorn Youth: 2004 is the official year Mifune formed. Why did you wait until 2006 to release your first record?

Cutty: Well, we didn’t even have our live debut until 2005. June 2005, technically, I guess you can start the clock.

Popcorn Youth: And the record is self-released?

Cutty: Yeah. And the wait on that was simply just getting it together as an early ensemble. We started recording a few months after our live debut, we recorded it ourselves and did it in our own studio, so it just took a while to get it right. We’ve been just really patient with it.

Popcorn Youth: One of your catch phrases is “Music that moves from the soul to the mind.” Can you elaborate on that? Is there a component that appeals to the soul, and what part appeals to the mind?

Cutty: Well, what we’re striving for is a balance. We don’t want to have music that is just really celebral, complex songs, like a musician’s music, where you’re really thinking about it, crazy time signatures and all that. We wanted to make it really organic. But by the same token, you’ve internalized [it] and you can feel the love and the good messages in it. It does have something more to it, like “Wow, I never really heard that layer.” It’s not right in your face like, “Hey, look at what we’re doing, look at what we’re doing” very advanced, complex music. So we like to root it where it counts and then after you’ve internalized it, it does satiate that too, it’s more intellectual or you notice some of the other things.

Popcorn Youth: Do your live performances deviate very much from the recordings? Do you try to incorporate more improvisation or spontaneity?

Cutty: That naturally happens, as far as, like, the songs open up. Almost unanimously people who have heard the album and then see us live say that the two are different entities – like, you’re way better live, the energy is way different live. I think the performance energy, where you have a lot more charisma live, it’s a challenge, especially with our first recording, to capture a lot of the live stuff in the recorded form.

Popcorn Youth: Have you ever been to Ithaca?

Cutty: No we have not.

Popcorn Youth: So I heard you’re somewhat vocal about your political views. Are you planning to incorporate some sort of political stance during your show here?

Cutty: I mean, we have a song dedicated to Bush, but if we don’t tell people that it is, I would be pretty impressed if people figured that out just from the lyrics. Our politics happen to be what we think, but I don’t think we’re a politically overt band. If you ask any one of us, we’ll be happy to sit down and talk about it, but we really want the band to be about the music and not the politcs. Because that kind of stuff really doesn’t have relevancy, because two years from now, when that guy is gone, there’s gonna be another guy in his place. The political stuff is not going to change that much, so we don’t want to be defined as a political band.

Popcorn Youth: James Brown passed away last month — how he or funk shaped or influenced Mifune’s sound?

Cutty: Humongously. Because James Brown is a great influence on Fela Kuti, when he was founding his group and music, and he definitely drew his sound from listening to James Brown. I personally find his influence just all over the place, especially now when everyone is drawing all these parallels. But I really buy into them all, I believe them all, the influence he’s had on hip-hop and funk and even bands like Stereolab, which is one of our big influences. But they are also very similar to Fela Kuti or James Brown, even if it doesn’t seem like it, but through the discipline of the group, and their willingness to have the parts make up the whole, which James Brown illustrated awesomely. He had one of the tightest groups that played together ever recorded, but if you break down its not like they’re just virtuoso performances, a lot of the time the rhythm players are playing a quote unquote “simple line.” They fit in the tapestry of things and create this big machine, and I think he was really integral in taking that concept to popular music.

Popcorn Youth: What does Mifune have planned for 2007? What else are you looking forward to in the new year?

Cutty: Well as far as our stuff goes, we have a few producers that working on a remix album of “Afro-Electronique.” Jake engineered and produced the first one, so we’re going to get a little analog on this next effort which is actually starting in the next couple weeks, so our second record will come out probably this time next year. And the remix album will sneak in the gap in between there. As far as projects coming out in 2007, I know that as soon as I hang up the phone I’ll remember this and that, but… there’s a few groups that I’ve gotten hip to that I want to see this year, like Afrodesia from the west coast and some live shows that I’ve interested in. The recording stuff, I’ve kind of gotten out of the loop with some of that stuff, because I think a lot of the stuff that I listen to now, I don’t have as many mainstream groups [that I like] that are putting out albums right now. - the ithaca times-Ithaca NY

"review of afro-electronique"

Mifuné blends disparate elements into an eclectic mélange of world music. Its debut bubbles with electronic textures reminiscent of Stereolab. The Cleveland eight-piece experiments with jazzy funk ("Don't Do All Your Talkin' to Me"), politically tinged Afrobeat ("Storm Troopers"), and soul-pop ("I Don't Know What Love Is"). Mifuné handles each well, but the album's best moments are when the sounds reach a balance, as on "Patsy Cline," whose infectious bounce, Brazilian rhythms, and spacey lounge vibe create a blissful pop confection. Frequent shifts in tempo and emphasis -- from bustling beats to hook-fueled melodies to jazzy excursions -- ensure a lot of inventive sound. Singer-keyboardist Christine Fader's soulful vocals are the icing on the cake - cleveland scene

"Music News: Marching To Their Own Afrobeat"

"MIFUNE - Getting under people's skins and making them dance, too."

Local nine-piece Afrobeat ensemble Mifune, formed in 2004, got a sudden burst of national attention last April when, during a Tri-C Jazzfest performance at Tower City, an anxious mall manager stopped its set when it refused to remove its matching anti-Bush T-shirts. It's a safe bet the mall won't be piping in tracks such as the insidiously infectious, toe-tapping "Storm Troopers" from Mifune's newly minted debut CD, Afro-Electronique. It'll officially release the disc at the show at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588) at 9 p.m. Friday, October 6. In fact, the disc's 10 tracks display a versatility and accessible complexity that make them suited for listening, dance floors or even playing in stores. - free times

"'Afro-Electronique' meets Japanese film"

The eight-piece, Cleveland-based band Mifune recorded its first album in the basement of guitarist Jacob Fader's home, and the group still rehearses in that same locale.
And because of the nickname Fader has given his basement, it should come as no surprise that Mifune has the ability to cook when it gets on stage.
"Cleveland is one of those places where extremes in the weather are common," Fader says during a telephone interview from his Ohio home. "In the summer, the basement gets really hot and humid, and because we record down there, there's not a lot of ventilation. So we like to call the basement 'the Oven of Dedication.'
"It gets awfully uncomfortable down there, but it made us tighter as an ensemble. We're lucky to have a place to practice and the instruments to do it with. I'm just happy when we're all in the same room at the same time, creating music together."
Named after the celebrated Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune (1920-97), Mifune's style of music can best be described by referring to the title of the group's first album: "Afro-Electronique." Mifune will visit Athens on Saturday, performing at Farm 255.
Mifune began with Fader, his wife, Christine, (keyboards, flute, vocals) and a local keyboard player known simply as Cutty, getting together to swap musical ideas to determine if there was enough common ground to start a band.
"When Christine, Cutty and I got started, our original plan was to create film soundtrack music, like Ennio Morricone, who's written hundreds of film scores, including those Clint Eastwood movies like 'For a Few Dollars More,' " says Fader. "But Cutty kept bringing us this West African music, mainly by Fela Kuti, which was something I always liked, along with the funk elements of James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic. I was entranced by this rhythmic, beautiful, powerful music and we gravitated toward it.”
Fader recruited other like-minded players (including a three-piece horn section) and Mifune was born.
"We're all big music fans and real sponges," he says. "All these different elements started creeping into the music."
Most of the members of the band are music educators (there's even one high school band director in the bunch), and Mifune is just starting to hit the road, which is an interesting and challenging proposition with eight members.
"Logistically, you rely on the kindness of friends," jokes Fader. "At our level, it's not like we're staying in plush hotel rooms every night, so we do a lot of sleeping on the floor, although it's a bit much to ask someone to allow eight people to crash at your house.
"But everybody's a professional and everybody's pretty cool, so it works well. I think if we were eight 21-year-olds, it would be a mess. But the cool thing for us is, we don't know any better - it's like traveling with a small street gang."
And as far as naming an Afro-Beat band after a distinguished Asian thespian, Fader says he's taking the credit (or the blame).
"I've always been a big fan of Akira Kurosawa's films and the scores of Masura Sato," he says. "And Toshiro Mifune was a strong presence in a lot of Kurosawa's films. I had the name in my head for a long time. To me, the word conveys power and strength when pronounced properly.
"I have a friend from Nigeria, who has a radio show in Cleveland and he was playing some of the Afro-Beat songs from our album. He actually thought Mifune was an African word. We never even thought to ask a Japanese person if we were pronouncing it right, but it turns out we were."
- athens banner herald-Athens GA

"Mifune's second release well worth "Time""

With a provocative title and a formidable touring career to live up to, Mifune is set to release “Time is Watching Us Bleed”, on November 28th, their second album since their formation in 2005. The eight piece group with a self-described afro-electronique sound that combines multiple genres made a name for themselves touring not only in the Cleveland area, but on the east coast and down south as well.

“Time” does not disappoint with a strong brass and synthetic presence on each track and a singer who possesses a voice akin to British songstress Adele. Her sound is both full and surreal, which at first might seem disconcerting, yet it becomes integral to the soul of the album by the third track. It is difficult to imagine any other quality of voice with this unique brand of music, much less another singer with less depth.

It goes without saying that each of the musicians in Mifune is talented, and it is this professional quality that allows the tracks to meander into different styles effortlessly and believably. Each song is paradoxical, filled with a mellow jive but at the same time expressing a wealth of emotion. A less skilled ensemble would sound forced and campy. The unified sound that Mifune creates while incorporating unlikely instruments is in itself an accomplishment worthy of attention.

Almost every track could be neatly packaged as a single, yet there are standouts. The first and not the least of which is the title track “Time is Watching Us Bleed”, a latin-grooving charmer that is as alluring as it is bizarre. It is also, largely because of its length, the most radio friendly single and likely the one that will be heard most often on the airwaves. Another gem is hidden at the very end of the album, but its title alone merits attention. “Master of the Flying Guillotine” is not only strange, but amusing in Mifune's use of oriental musical elements to portray what could be seen as a musical version of “Kill Bill”. The truncated vocals at the high end of the vocal range are hard to ignore and only add to the pleasant absurdity.

Mifune's songs carry a political undercurrent as well, with some becoming outright statements about current issues. One of these tracks, “Sin City”, is particularly lively and upbeat while jabbing at Washington politics. The horn ensemble especially shines on this track along with the driving percussion.

The only drawback to Mifune's sophomoric release is the length of some tracks. None of the tracks merit serious criticism on a musical level, and essentially any critique will amount to a matter of preference as the album is stylistically unblemished. However, a few of the tracks could stand to be a little shorter as occasionally the listener gets lost in the middle. One of the strengths of the album is its ability to surprise with each new track, but sometimes that effect is dampened by lengthy melodic breaks which halt the flow of one song to the next. On that note, it is worth mentioning that those same breaks will produce ample solo opportunities in live performances.

What makes the album worthy of praise is its inherent diversity. Many groups falter in attempts to change their sound from one album from the next, while Mifune changes their sound on each track and still remains unmistakable. - the lakewood observer

"Mifune Exudes Confidence On Its New Album Time Is Watching Us"

If Mifune had simply been the band that got unplugged by Tower City mall management for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts when they played there during Tri-C JazzFest 2006, they'd be long forgotten. Instead, the group used the ensuing publicity as a springboard for their excellent debut CD, Afro-electronique, released that fall. Taking its title from the band's name for their own music, they showcased their alluring blend of Afrobeat, funk, soul, pop, hip-hop and electronic dance music.

The group returns with Time Is Watching Us, which synthesizes similar elements with greater smoothness and confidence - whether it's the horn section percolating on the disc-opening Afrobeat of "3 Hours On, 3 Hours Off" and the exultant "Joy and Revolution," the jaunty Afro-funk of "Be Human" or the shimmering yet vibrant atmospherics of "Know Your Situation." The group has always made music that's suitable for either listening or dancing; if anything, they've enhanced both sides of the equation with their intricate arrangements, sinuous melodies and thoughtful lyrics, coupled with insinuating beats.

Singer Christine Fader, guitarist/keyboardist Jacob Fader, keyboardist/percussionist Cutty, bassist Corbett Hein, drummer Jeremy Miller, trumpeter Brian Kleve and trombonist SkinnyK have become a much more intuitive and tightly functioning unit. That's what they tried to capture on the new disc, says Cutty.

"We definitely had a goal in mind," he says. "The original concept was to try to capture our live sound a little more. I feel like [the first album] captured a certain entity of it but not the live entity. A lot of the songs on it were a result of me, Jacob and Christine writing to entice people into the group. This effort is more reflective of the collaboration of a group. The first album had a pressed feel because we borrowed recording equipment and had the stuff for only five weeks. This album we recorded in our own studio with our own equipment, and Jake mixed the whole album. It wasn't contingent on anyone else's benevolence."

He adds that a couple of years of playing together had an impact on the sound.

"We're still very influenced by Afrobeat music, but I think we've made a lot more of a definitive statement on the way we play that music since we've been able to absorb and play it over the last couple of years," he says. "There's a lot more of our own filter on that. I think we've also become more comfortable in the songs that aren't Afrobeat. The first album we did, the horn section was still an extra entity. We hadn't been on the road yet, which always tightens groups up. I feel like we've grown a lot more in our art together."

Mifune has been rapidly expanding their reach in the past year. With Cutty and Jacob Fader doing half the booking and a recently acquired agent in Michigan helping out, the group has been playing in Michigan, Illinois and Pittsburgh. They've also developed an Introduction to Afrobeat program for grades K-6, which they book through arts education group Young Audiences. With a new album, they hope to expand even more, including possibly a trip to Europe. Meanwhile, they are promising local fans a pull-out-all-the-stops show at the Grog Shop Friday, augmented by the Solarfire Light Show. As for the mute Bush-bashing incident that put the band on peoples' radar, Cutty says, they didn't intend for it to be polarizing.

"But everything that happened off that has been positive - the conversations that started up, some of online threads when it spread through the country," he says. "We couldn't have bought the publicity. I think it's ironic now, with it almost being chic, even with former supporters to go, 'Oh yeah, George Bush is bad.' It's become a lot more popular to be on our side!

Anastasia Pantsios" - the cleveland scene 11-27-08

"For the thinking dancer Mifune is less 'electronique,' keeps to strong Afro-beat"

Cleveland may still primarily rock, but not every regularly gigging North Coast band is trying to bang listeners' heads with power chords or to be more indie/hipster than thou.

The collective known as Mifune plays a heady musical fusion, tossing Afro-beat, jazz, R&B, Caribbean and European influences into its musical bouillabaisse, spooning out funky, hip-wiggling grooves laced with social commentary.

The band, formed in 2005, calls its sound (and its 2006 debut album) Afro-Electronique, which is a bit corny
as sobriquets go, but at least it chose the name itself. Additionally, while the debut contained a few more musical nods to Eurobands such as Stereolab, the new album Time Is Watching Us contains less of the ''electronique'' elements and is arguably better for it.

The syncopated polyrhythms and lyrical social concerns of Afro-beat are still the strongest strain in the band's musical arsenal. Most of the album's nine tracks take their time setting up and settling into their respective grooves and stretch past the five-minute mark, but not a second is wasted.

Keeping with the basic Afrobeat blueprint as laid out by Fela Kuti, songs such as the 91/2-minute private army indictment Blackwater Crooks begin with a basic groove, followed by some solos before singer/keyboardist Christine Fader and the band, featuring a taut trio of horns, engage in some call and response vocals: ''If disaster hits your town Blackwater forces come around / if they come and fire on you, no health care to pull you through / all that money has been spent to fund Blackwater government.''

On the album-opening 3 Hours On, 3 Hours Off, the group works an island groove with punchy syncopated horn charts, pushed by the propulsive rhythm section of bassist Corbett Hein and drummer Jeremy Miller.

Joy & Revolution rides a jazz-fusion groove in 6/8 time, reminiscent of drum legend Billy Cobham's '70s work (minus the furious drum flurries). All Alone finds Fader singing a floating jazzy melody about looking past one's own navel and engaging the outside world, over guitarist Jacob Fader's arpeggiated chords and rolling toe-tapping bass line.

Mifune's debut was a solid record and it is an interesting listen, if only to hear what musical strains the talented band would mix in next. But Time Is Watching Us is a better encapsulation and crystallization of the group's sound and style. Though anyone who incorporates Afro-beat will automatically conjure comparisons to Fela, the musical influences on the album are better subsumed into a more recognizable Mifune sound, and it's a damn groovy one.

Mifune songs are made to be played live, and it is the kind of band that would have the Saturday night crowd at the Northside spilling Christmas ales on the dance floor while trying to keep up with the undeniable grooves.
By Malcolm X Abram - The akron beacon journal

"Mifune in the Cleveland Plain Dealer"

Afrobeat keeps going on: As one of Northeast Ohio's more eclectic acts, Mifune continues its exploration of Afro-electronique built around the Afrobeat style of jazz and funk rhythms. After the band's 2006 debut effort, "Afro-Electronique," created quite a stir, the outfit is back with its recently released sophomore album "Time Is Watching Us." "I think it's basically the diversity of influence has been distilled more and it's more potent," said Mifune guitarist Jacob Fader. "Where we wore some of the influences a little more on our sleeve for the first one, this one has kind of taken those and made that amalgamation to where it kind of has its own character now. There still is the Afrobeat influence, but some songs are not as overt. And there are some influences from different African music. One song draws upon a little bit of Malayan guitar ("All Alone"), but there's also one song ("Joy and Revolution") close to free jazz in a lot of ways, maybe a midperiod Miles Davis feel.
-John Benson - The Plain Dealer nov 28th, 2008


ON- Ep-self released may 2005
Afro-Electronique- released on Oct. 6th 2006
Time is Watching Us- Released Nov 28th 2008
(all selections on ODC records)



five individuals and making something that's cohesive and without pretension can be a tall order. Mifune knows this. The diversity of elements that make up this group is akin to spinning around and around in a record store stopping and pointing at random sections. The amalgamation of styles is nothing new in American music, and Mifune hails from the true America, the gritty, post-industrial gem of a town, Cleveland, Ohio. This reality is fuel for the funky poly-rhythms, tight harmonies, soulful vocals and the blazing horns that create the irresistible pulse that marks the groups' compositions. Live, the group inspires an atmosphere as diverse as their components. Sure, the deep rooted grooves will make you dance, but it's also all at once a joyful, thought-provoking, and passionate affair. With two albums out: "afro-electronique" 2006 and 2008's "time is watching us", Mifune continues the quest to bottle their unique sound on wax.