Cibo Matto
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Viva La Woman, 7/10
Stereo Type A, 5/10
Butter 08 , 5/10
Yuka Honda: Memories Are My Only Witness , 5/10
Yuka Honda: Eucademix (2004), 6/10
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Le due Cibo Matto (Miho Hatori e Yuka Honda, residenti a New York) si affermarono nei night club di New York con la loro divertente satira musicale, ispirata dalla varieta` di commestibili che si trova nei supermercati americani. Una di quelle novelty, Birthday Cake, strillata su un arrangiamento che e` un casuale assemblaggio di jazz, hip-hop, funk e dissonanze, diede loro la fama nel 1995.

Viva La Woman (Warner, 1996) e` uno stravagante atto di rock interdisciplinare (ancora una volta interamente dedicato al cibo), che mescola stereotipi di tutti i generi in maniera creativa e ironica. L'unica costante e` quella levigata cadenza hip-hop, deviante verso il trip-hop, che si spande amebica su tutti i brani. Il resto e` sempre imprevedibile. In Apple il canto sensuale e anemico, la cadenza da cerimoniale esoterico, i riff di hard-rock non potrebbero essere peggio assortiti. Il rap di Beef Jerky e` una filastrocca dell'asilo su un sottofondo onirico di elettronica. Le trovate si moltiplicano. Know Your Chicken inanella un coretto di bambine e un complicato incastro di dissonanze, stacchetti e break. Theme (dieci minuti) tira fuori dal baule un po' di tutto, poliritmi esotici e versi clowneschi di fiati, carillon distorti e rumori "trovati". Artichoke, un compromesso fra la musica aleatoria di John Cage e la musica meditativa della new age, sdipana con tono serissimo un racconto comico che si trascina fra accordi stentati di pianoforte e flauti. A trionfare e` Sugar Water, con tanto di gorgheggio da fantasma, organo subacqueo e ritornello "la la" da colonna sonora degli anni '60. Le canzoni non sono strutture, trame, logiche, ma soltanto accostamenti di gesti sonori.

Cibo Matto, the duo of Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda, specialized in musical satire inspired by junk food and implemented via a casual assembly of jazz, hip-hop, funk and dissonances. Viva La Woman (1996) performed a clownish postmodernist massacre of stereotypes.
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Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda ganged up with Russell Simins of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to record Butter 08 (Grand Royal, 1996). While a few ideas are intriguing (Mono Lisa is an early, psychedelic Pink Floyd-ian crescendo, Dick Serious is a hot, latin-jazz instrumental, How Do I Relax is classical supermarket muzak), the album is too confused to stand on its own merits.

Little is whimsical on Stereo Type A (Warner Bros, 1999). Cibo Matto, that is now augmented with Sean Lennon, is no more a novelty than Julio Iglesias. Unfortunately, the sound is also not much more adventurous and the best song, Moonchild, sounds exactly like one of those elegant Inglesias melodies. Honda is still a master of the eccentric arrangement, and Hatori is one of the most original rappers in the world, but this time they run the gamut of musical genres without enough personality to excel in any: heavy metal (Blue Train), raga (Working For Vacation), pop (Flowers), soul (King Of Silence). Except for one song (the funny rap of Sci-Fi Wasabi), very little of this is ironic. Mostly, it's what bands do to become pop stars when they have run out of inspiration.

Yuka Honda's first solo album, Memories Are My Only Witness (Tzadik, 2002), is a display of her eclecticism but the collage of styles is sometimes self-indulgent. It was followed by Eucademix (Tzadik, 2004), a more demented effort.

Miho Hatori played bossa nova with Brazilian musician Smokey Hormel on the EP Tempo De Amor (Afro Sambas, 2002) and debuted solo with Ecolypsis (2006) in the vein of Kate Bush and Bjork.

Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda released Heart Chamber Phantoms (Tzadik, 2009) that was a mostly instrumental work for an ensemble with herself on software, keyboards, sampler, bass, guitars, tenorion, percussion, plus drummers Sean Lennon and Dougie Browne, Michael Leonhart (trumpet, flugelhorn, mellophone, vibraphone, bass, keyboards, percussion), Shimmy Hirotaka Shimizu (guitar), Erik Friedlander (cello), Pete Drungle (piano), Jeff Hill (bass) and vocalists Courtney Kaiser and Scott Seader.

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