Miho Hatori and Yuka C. Honda make up Cibo Matto. The group debuted in
1994 with their album Viva! La Woman and followed their critical acclaim with Stereo
★ Type A. Since 2002 they have been on
hiatus, but both remaining very involved in the music industry in separate
ventures. In 2011, Hatori and Honda announced the reunion, and, in February
2014, released their first studio album in 14 years, Hotel Valentine. Instead of replicating their past sound, Cibo
Matto has built an innovative sound that acknowledges their roots but connects
with where club and electronic music have advanced to today. Hotel Valentine is a concept album that
checks the listener into fictional "Hotel Valentine." Along with incredibly
evocative instrumentation, Hatori and Honda use programming, drum machines,
phone apps, and other sound devices to imply windows, doors, walls and corners
through sound. The twist to the story is that the hotel is haunted. "Check In"
grounds the listener in the location of the album, both musically and
narratively, while "10th Floor Ghost Girl" and "MFN" explore the
anger of the spirit wandering the hotel halls. The computerized beats add fear
to the haunting image of a ghost floating in "Empty Pool." The album closes
with "Check Out," which depicts the ghost coaxing the listener to remain at
Hotel Valentine eternally.
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