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.

Mutamassik, Transjoik, Miho Hatori

MUTAMASSIK [EGYPT] / TRANSJOIK [NORWAY]
mawlid el nur / anna f (mutamassik mix) site
coming late to the table is always disappointing, especially with an artist of such a high calibre as mutamassik. i found a split cd at the weekend – two dj sets, one by dj rupture (from spain) and the other from mutamassik. both are of exceptional high quality and were created to celebrate each artists’ individual performances with the bidouin crew in dubai (more information on this release here). mutamassik is of egyptian descent and lives in brooklyn – from that description, and the fact that the split cd is released through kid 606‘s tigerbeat6 offshoot, violent turd, you can get a fair idea of what to expect from her work: mixing rai and other middle eastern sounds with gloriously fucked-up beats and hard glitches. if the traditionalism of world music leaves you cold, then this will reinvigorate your belief in sounds from outside of your back yard. the above mp3 is one of the few mutamassik projects i can find to freely download – you’ll need to subscribe to this norwegian band’s mailing list to get i though, but i think it’s worth the effort.

THE BALDWIN BROTHERS feat MIHO HATORI [US: CHICAGO / JAPAN]
dream girl mp3
yeah, so the blog subtitle is NEW international music, but you’ve got give yourself a break now and again… especially when the talent is as good a calibre as former cibo matto member, miho hatori. it’s insanely difficult to get any back catalogue cibo releases in australia, and even miho’s last album ‘smokey and miho’ is proving impossible to track down. time to bite the bullet and order from overseas methinks… personal issues aside, this is a great jazz-breaks track from the chicago duo jason hinkle and tj widner taken from the 2002 album ‘cooking with lasers’. i’ll confess right up front to have heard nothing else from the band, but there’s plenty of downloads and sound clips on the site for further investigation – including the tight sounds of ‘that’s right’ [mp3] from the ‘funk shui’ e.p.

hi to more new blogs on the block – if you like the sounds on fat planet, then pay a visit to the witness exchange – we’re certainly in the same ballpark, possibly even the same dugout. recent posts include cexsafety scissorsthemselvesfridge and more. also aloha to heraclitus sayz (the return of the lo-fi), dedicated to lo-fi music and “analog, 4-track, DIY-type music that never sees the light of day”.