‘Hotel Valentine’, by Cibo Matto

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March 29, 2014 by Me and My Monkeys

Cibo Matto - Hotel ValentineAfter more than a decade, it’s nice to cosy up to a familiar brand of trip-hopping oriental strangeness.

Once checked in, you get an immediate sense of déjà vu. You love it here but aren’t sure if you’re in New York, Japan or outer space. The girls know what you’re feeling: “It’s the place you really want.”

When Miho starts rapping on Nabokov in the appropriately titled ‘Déjà Vu’, we sense that something – a little more than nostalgia – is happening. There is real energy and sexy attitude here, which goes into overdrive – almost overdose – with the thumping introduction of the album’s main protagonist, the ’10th Floor Ghost Girl’.

Cibo Matto do a nice job at keeping the narrative themes of their Sergeant Pepper in sync. The edges of each story/storey are blurred, but there is a consistent sense of vibe and wit that show the rooms to have a common fixed address.

“Is it real or is it dream?” No need for indefinite articles at Hotel Valentine – it’s all about floating thoughts and moving feet. Some debauchery too, but it’s the ethereal kind where the philosophers are pouring the drinks.

“I wonder what’s in this drink?”, asks the ghost girl. For me, I don’t care as long as they keep serving them.

Recommended? Yes. Impossible not to like. Possible to love.

Out of 10? 8

My monkeys suggest:

  • If you missed it back in the day, watch Michel Gondry’s video for Sugar Water below, followed by a dose of the latest.


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