Self-released in 18.03.2001 as a demo CD-R (find the cover artwork in the archive), while most songs were available for free (MP3) on the Makunouchi Bento Besonic.com
profile (no longer available).
Remastered and released in 01.02.2003 by Retinascan, as CD-R. Might be still available for purchase here:
Some years ago, our former cover designer and "store" project initiator Brendan Cook tried to define "IDM" as one of the first supranational musics, talking about Guineos "Tosstones" EP that came out that time on chocolate industries. The sound of IDM - a classification that emancipated long ago from the "Intelligent Dance Music" labeling it formerly abbreviated - was the very first flavor of music that came up in a globally networked, subcultural community and profited from the beginning from the rich influences of all contributors that took part in this movement. IDM had just as much unique elements as it needed to establish a trademark and left the rest to a wide open space of possibilities and ingredients from all over the world without becoming discreditted as "world music". Therefore a door was opened to artists from all kind of cultural circles, and for the first time a musical languange was created that was globally and democratically accessible to everyone who owned a computer, no matter if he lived in Brazil, or - like Felix Petrescu and Valentin Toma from Makunouchi Bento - in Romania.
Both artists are doing this for years now. They learned their language well and expanded its vocabulary continuously. When you first hear their music and catch memories of early 90ies Warp artists B12 and Black Dog Productions you may certainly be on the right track, but be sure you don't miss the next exit, because Makunouchi Bento are no epigons of anyone, they are just themselves. Mixing harsh industrialesque tones into their songs or cutting up children's songs is just as good as doing some field recordings and taking them as the basic track for a new song and doing this, they pick up other "homeless" (in a positive sense of outernationalism) genres that developed over the last few years. In this sense, it may be more than just a lucky decision to even pick their name from a as "foreign" language as Japanese (Makunouchi Bento is a subdivided lunchbox for all the different parts of a "real" japanese meal). Nevertheless, despite of all the different materials they work with, their sound remain remarkably tight and recognizable.
Cutting a long story short: we're very glad to have them on board. After a nice contribution to the Retinascan compilation "Fishing for Complements" their first full length on Retinascan is their 2000 debut re-release "Himette", that earlier only has been released as edition for friends and now is available here with new artwork (by the very talented Răzvan Jigorea) and mastering.
released February 1, 2003
Written, produced, mixed and mastered by Valentin Toma and Felix Petrescu.
Photo by Răzvan Jigorea: www.jigorea.ro