In 1994, while America was still in the throes of grunge-rock's tedium, two tiny expatriate Japanese women, both part of New York City's avant-garde music scene, joined forces.
The focus of singer/rapper Miho Hatori and keyboardist/sampler Yuka Honda's combo Cibo Matto (which they say is Italian for "food madness") was a giddy mish-mash of Dadaist lyrics and tape-loop-heavy electro-pop. There were dollops of noise jazz, Francophone lounge music, and deep gurgling funk, all filtered through the prism of Japanese roots and influences such as the Boredoms and the Yellow Magic Orchestra.
They made but two albums, Viva! La Woman (1996) and Stereo Type A (1999) before splintering, but those records won them cultish devotion. Solo gigs and collaborations with the Plastic Ono Band (Honda), the Gorillaz, and Beck (Hatori) only made you miss Cibo Matto's quirk even more.