Cibo Matto... Not quite Jpop
Cibo Matto info sushi bites:
* Opened the Freedom Tibet concert of 1999
* Performed on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
* Time magazine voted Viva! La Woman one of the top 10 best hip-hop albums of all time. Buy it!
* Cibo Matto have worked with Beck, Butthole Surfers, Sean Lennon, Beastie Boys, Kat Bjelland + ...
Who the hell are Cibo Matto?
You know, it's the old story... a couple of girls meet, click in thoughts ideas and music, become a small band that plays tiny venues, then become a damn good band that gets to work with the best people in town, from Beck to the Butthole Surfers. Their video for the song Sugar Water was directed by Michel Gondry (who also did the amazing film Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind) - and hey, he only works with the best.
Cibo Matto are all about fusion. Their lyrics are exciting, moody, punchy, big ideas about identity and self-realisation and eco-power wrapped up in super-imaginative lyrics that feel new without being cheesy novelty. They're pretty special. They growl. Even if you don't like hip-hop, you should check them out.
Cibo Matto on stereotypes
Stereotypes are something that Yuka and Miho Hatori have encountered ever since Cibo Matto made a splash in the music world with their 1996 debut Viva! La Woman, an album of renegade sampling, off-kilter funk and hardcore. "There are people who think that women can't operate studio equipment," remarks Honda, who produced the Stereotype A album entirely by herself. "Stereo is also what tells you where you are located. Dolphins can see what is happening with their sense of hearing. In a philosophical way, if you listen, you can also tell where you are, or more importantly, where you're at. We have to learn to listen for ourselves with both our left and right ears, and not just believe everything we're told."
Cibo Matto on their musical style
Miho doesn't view music as having to be one way or another, but is searching for something she can call cool. "People always expect you to choose sides between digital or analog, old school or new school, even between Chinese or Italian food," jokes Miho. "Well, we eat everything." Cibo Matto's musical cuisine is a blend of many different styles, with elements of jazz, hip-hop and pop intertwined into a sound entirely their own. Yuka is responsible for most of the musical composition of the songs that Cibo Matto writes and/or arranges. From the breakbeat onslaught and Farfisa organ stabs that kickstart the buoyant "Working For Vacation," to the killer groove of "Spoon" and the undulating r&b of "Moonchild," Stereotype A is, at its core, a pop album. "Today kids don't like just one thing!" declares Miho. "That's the new style for the 21st century." Songs like "The Lint of Love," where jazz horns meet funky fuzz bass meet heavy metal guitars, and "Sunday," with its elaborate structure and waltz-time coda, are mini-albums unto themselves. As producer, Yuka envisioned stereo drums, five-part harmonies, and previously unimagined combinations of rhythm sequences and "live" playing.
Cibo Matto on their name
"We wanted a title that you have to chew on a little," says Yuka Honda, "not just swallow whole."
Cibo Matto started small and thought big
Yuka explains the band's growth: "Our first songs were written to be played live in tiny places, and what's on our first record is pretty much what we did live at our first shows. We were kind of test-driving and we didn't know sh*t. We've learned and evolved. On Stereotype A, we spent time experimenting, taking chances, to think about the album as a whole.to try to achieve our potential. We set much bigger goals."
Cibo Matto encourage each other to grow... but they've also broken up :(
"Miho is a really talented musician," says Yuka. "She was able to do amazing things from day one." Now, after several years on the road and recording, Miho can effortlessly take a song like "Flowers" into the stratosphere, then turn around and deliver a crazy rap on "Sci-Fi Wasabi." She's taught herself to play guitar and drums and she's now contributing musical ideas. Yuka and Miho are almost telepathically seamless as Cibo Matto but they are not afraid to be independent and work separately with other artists if they want to. A good template for any girl band!
Don't be sad, but the truth is that Cibo Matto have broken up in a friendly departure into each of their own solo projects. Each person had their own ideas to work out and didn't want to keep Cibo Matto going beyond its time. But the musicians in Cibo Matto stay connected as an extended family and are happy to cross paths and help each other out on various projects.