That CD was one I’ve been waiting for since it’s Japanese release a few months ago, it is Miho Hatori’s Ecdysis, a title I have no idea how to pronounce. Miho Hatori was one half of my favourite band, Cibo Matto. For Christmas I got the sophmore album of Yuka Honda, the other half of the band.
I’ve talked enough about Cibo Matto, just follow the tags to know what they’re like. Let me talk about the “sequel” albums.
Yuka Honda’s Memories Are My Only Witness is beautiful. She has picked up on the unusual sound that was the background to the vocals in Cibo Matto and produced a whole album. It’s a very complex sound at times, including a couple of places where it sounds like two melodies are in slightly different time signatures. It brings to mind the modernist music of Gershwin or Shostakovich, wedded happily to electronica. I very much like how it makes its own rules. I am also amused at the track titles, which capture the free-thinking approach to music. Titles like “Schwaltz” or “On a cold winter morning I walked back home on a street paved with pieces of broken hearts.”
I’ve got to be honest though, and say that while I really love this album, I’m more keen on her third album. I don’t know what that will be like, but this album feels like she’s still mastering the tools that she’ll use to blow my mind wide open in the next album.
Miho Hatori’s outing Ecdysis is a bit more of a mixed bag. There are a couple of tracks that are positively addictive, and there are a handful that are totally forgettable. BTW, the single from the album “Barracuda” is available online for free. The sound is simpler, on the whole, than Honda’s outing, but I think it’s also more approachable and accessible: it has a more mainstream feel at times. It’s still fairly unusual, but it hangs the oddness on a framework of strong melodies and bass lines.
I strongly recommend both albums to any fans of Cibo Matto, and actually, both sound more like sequels to Viva! La Woman than Stereotype A did.