The ’90s were fertile, hallowed ground for the most enduring, wall-busting female rock pioneers of our time, such as Courtney Love, Polly Jean Harvey, Kathleen Hanna, Björk, Carrie Brownstein, and Tori Amos. Also part of that impressive cavalry of uncompromising iconoclasts? None other than Miho Hatori and Yuka C. Honda of New York City’s Cibo Matto, and recent stellar additions to Spirit Music Group’s rapidly expanding roster.
As a result of the deal, Spirit’s tireless creative team will supply synch-exploit services for the band’s newly released album, ‘Hotel Valentine’ (Chimera), and will also provide worldwide admin services for the back catalog. The new partnership between a beloved and innovative band such as Cibo Matto and Spirit is ideal as the company continues its reputation of working with maverick talents such as Matt & Kim, The Naked and Famous, Eric Paslay, and Pete Townshend, as well as offering songs that have mass appeal and unique inspirations.
Known worldwide for their sexy, rowdy, brash, and delightfully spunky approach to song structure and lyrics, notably on hit singles “Sugar Water,” “Birthday Cake,” and “Know Your Chicken,” from their full-length 1996 debut ‘Viva! La Woman,’ Hatori and Honda forged a highly respected path as sonic chameleons with a gleeful derring-do and unquenchable love of food (the group’s name translates to “Crazy Food” in Italian after all) and fuzzy, fluidly freaky hybrid pop. Their kicky approach to visual presentation and wordplay quickly made Hatori and Honda alt-rock icons in the late ’90s and a reliably popular touring act. They would go on to release a well-received sophomore effort, ‘Stereo Type A,’ in 1999 with new group members Sean Lennon and Timo Ellis, but announced a hiatus in 2001 to the dismay of their legions of fans and adoring critics. Never ones to disappear and relax with some delicious eats, a Moog, and a drum machine, the years that followed, however, saw both Hatori and Honda release solo albums and collaborate with boldface names such as Yoko Ono, the Beastie Boys, and Gorillaz.
‘Hotel Valentine,’ Cibo Matto’s self-produced first full-length album in fifteen years, is a trippy head rush of genre-slashing and funky spectral vibes, boom clap for day-glo days and skronky, saxophone-frosted, whiplash-inducing rhythms for heady city nights. “MFN” featuring Reggie Watts (of IFC’s ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!’) is a rambunctious spirit, “10th Floor Ghost Girl” is a slinky, fuzzed-out disco dive with a bouncy guitar and surprise saxophone, and “Emerald Tuesday” is a rascally, Absinthe-drenched stroll through smoky hallways, playing tag with an elusive green fairy. The title track of the album is a meditative romp with tribal drums, chimes and haunting, romantic vocals, and a perfect lead-in to the stunning “Empty Pools,” a lovely, mournful, and romantic transmission from a dark room that desires more light.