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.