Fat Planet – Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto) Interview

In January 2007, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Miho Hatori, formerly one half of the legendary Japanese band Cibo Matto, on the release of her debut solo album ‘Ecdysis’. Cibo Matto found success in the U.S. initially off the back of heavy rotation of their ‘Sugar Water’ clip, directed by Michel Gondry, which they backed up with two outstanding albums ‘Viva! La Woman’ and ‘Stereo Type A’ (the latter featuring an expanded Cibo Matto line-up with Sean Lennon on bass). My personal favourite Cibo Matto is seeing them on stage at ‘The Bronze’ in the season two opener of Buffy – a rare trans-pacific cultural crossover.

In the intervening years, Miho released a beautiful Brazilian collaboration with Smokey Hormel (‘Smokey and Miho’), dropped some vocals for the likes of Beastie Boys, Handsome Boy Modelling School and Blackalicious and also gave us the voice of Noodle in Gorillaz (re-listen to ’19-2000′ for some “shoe-shine” Miho goodness). There’s also a little curio that crops up on Ninja Tune’s ‘Urban Renewal Program’ compilation, a track titled ‘Night Light’ that sits alongside contributions from Tortoise, Prefuse 73, Mos Def and more.

The new album is, as expected, a thing of outstanding beauty – a more considered and organic version of Bjork‘s mid-career output, replete with a vast library of musical influences from around the world. The video clip (by Ishiura Masaru) is a dazzling accompaniment – an animated adventure, that could well be titled “Miho in the Underworld”; with a design style that calls to mind a cross between the twisted Charles Burns school of horror illustration and a psyched-out episode of Scooby Doo. Well worth 3:22 of your time.

AMON TOBIN, GUSTAVO LAMAS, PET, VISIONARY UNDERGROUND, CIBO MATTO, THE VIDEO KID

AMON TOBIN [BRAZIL]
the lighthouse mp3
gaming is a multi-million (billion?) $$ industry these days and convergence between music, movies and games is now a well-trodden part of the cultural landscape. it therefore comes as little surprise that the company behind the new splinter cell offshoot ‘chaos theory’ have turned to london’s ninja tune to lend them a hand with the soundtrack this time around. this stirs a few memories and my mind drifts fondly back to the ‘wipeout’ soundtrack – one of the earliest times i can remember when established and respected electronic artists were commissioned to write music exclusively for the game release. so anyway, an interesting day when a new amon tobin track comes courtesy of tom clancy… it’s amon at his darkest, full of grandeur and forboding – everything we’ve come to expect from the brazilian beat scientist.

GUSTAVO LAMAS [ARGENTINA]
amenos mp3
following on from the recent post from carlos lebidinsky, here’s some more argentina electronica – this time from gustavo lamas, a profilic producer with releases under his belt on kompakt, traum and akufen‘s oral label. although this track, and apparently many of his releases to date, suggests an overall tech-house sound, other mp3s on lamas site indicate more experimental, abstract production (click here and check out the two tracks at the top of the page). for more agentinian flavours, check out sonic 360‘s ‘beatwave argentina’ collection – a superb collection of new south american beats.

PET [GERMANY]
howlin’ pet mp3
super pet (toob remix) mp3
here’s a return to visit to groenland records (see half cousin and lunz from recent posts) – this time from german solo artist, pet. the album ‘player one ready’ kick starts with the excellent ‘no yes no’ which gives a clear indication of where pet is heading. this is pop music, loud and proud. there’s some electronic sensibilities throughout, but it’d be a mistake to lump this into any electro pop or electro clash territory. the above mp3s are both remixes from the album – the first takes the ‘no yes no’ track and pet gives it a blues / rock makeover (hence the ‘howlin’ reference) and the second is a remix by toob, aka rich thair – founding member of red snapper. more info on tooband their new album at t-o-o-b.com.

VISIONARY UNDERGROUND [ENGLAND]
urban uproar mp3
100 vibes mp3
self-described as ‘nu skool breakbeat’ from this ‘audio visual breakbeat collective’, these guys first came to my attention through their asian dub foundation remix of ‘1000 mirrors’ – certainly for me the best remix of 2004. a four piece from london, their remarkable fusion of contemporary breaks with a clear asian influence takes adf’s template and moves it further towards the dancefloor. check out their web site for the full lowdown on the VU crew – an excellention selection of audio (both mp3 and streaming real player), a huge range of visual work and videos – including their new single ‘eye of the storm’ featuring dr das from adf. the debut album is due to drop soon.

CIBO MATTO [JAPAN]
sci-fi wasabi
 mp3
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YOSHIMI & YUKA [JAPAN]
elegant bird mp3
this is an old skool post to celebrate the release of yuka honda‘s new album ‘eucademix’, released through john zorn’s tzadik label. the album features a one-off return collaboration between yuko and fellow cibo matto playmate miho hatori (whose post-cibo career has included guest vocal spots on beastie boys and gorillaz albums, as well as the excellent brazilian-influenced album ‘smokey and miho’). also worth a look is the odd collaboration between yuko and yoshimi from the boredoms, ‘flower with no colour’. [get some boredoms mp3s at epitonic here – and i recommend you do!].

THE VIDEO KID [NEW ZEALAND]
runnin’ (dub) mp3
finally, a track from NZ artist bret mackenzie – in his solo guise here as the video kid, but he’s also part of the excellent NZ collective, the black seeds. he’s an also an actor (but don’t hold that against him) with shows at the edinburgh fringe and an appearance in peter jackson’s ‘the fellowship of the ring’. download the smart drop of dub above and check out videokid.tv for more possible lies and hearsay.