Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Gorgeous organic and ecclectic pop from Cibo Matto alumnus Miho Hatori

I wrote up “Stereotype A”  by Cibo Matto back in April. It was a great album that featured some cool beats and beautiful melodies. The band didn’t put out a lot of work together – just 2 albums and 2 EPs – so I started looking for work the artists put out after the band broke up. In addition to the prolific and well-connected Yuka Honda and the son-of-a-Beatle Sean Lennon, the band featured the talents of Miho Hatori. Hatori has done some interesting projects, like showing up as a character on an Xbox game and voicing the character Noodle on Gorillaz’ eponymous debut. She released her only solo album in 2005, an interesting project called “Ecdysis.”

Ecdysis is when bugs moult their shells, like cicadas do. Okay. I get it.

Ecdysis” is full of music that I almost want to call ambient or electronica, but the instruments are so often organic that it doesn’t fit. The percussion in particular features handclaps, bottles, and other natural sounds. The whole project reminds me a little of early Bjork, in that the arrangements are often sparse and the melodies are dreamy, but the singer’s voice is so beautiful, strange, and compelling the package works very well. There are several ballads on the album and a few up-tempo pieces, but the album hangs together well without any jarring transitions. If you liked Cibo Matto, you will not be disappointed by Hatori’s solo release. Listen to my favorites.

  • A Song for Kids – Hatori sings this in Japanese which just makes it more appealing to me. We get vibes and some keyboards, but Hatori’s voice is the star.
  • Barracuda – I wish I had found this video for my Halloween mix. It’s mostly dark and creepy, though it ends happily enough. The instrumentation is typically spare, but I love Hatori’s harmony vocals.
  • Today Is Like That – This song is delicately constructed with what sounds like gentle accordion and percussion played on bottles and put lids. Despite the mix of instruments, Hatori’s voice makes this pensive track beautiful.
  • River of 3 Crossings – Hatori’s voice is hypnotic as horns, piano, and vibes noodle occasionally behind plodding percussion. This one in particular reminds me of a Bjork tune.

Now if she would just get back into the studio and release a few more.

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December 1, 2010 - Posted by | Electronica, Popular, World Music

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