While to some the name Natural Calamity brings to mind some sort of noise rock, in fact this vehicle for guitarist Shunji Mori contains melodic, dreamy soundscapes that at times suggest the Cowboy Junkies, ECM jazz, and the more ambient bits of Robert Fripp. Natural Calamity's music sometimes seems like it is unfurling in a gentle breeze, which has led writers to describe it as psychedelic folk, chill-out music, earthy trip-hop, and like "a swing on an ocean-front hammock". Mori was...read more
While to some the name Natural Calamity brings to mind some sort of noise rock, in fact this vehicle for guitarist Shunji Mori contains melodic, dreamy soundscapes that at times suggest the Cowboy Junkies, ECM jazz, and the more ambient bits of Robert Fripp. Natural Calamity's music sometimes seems like it is unfurling in a gentle breeze, which has led writers to describe it as psychedelic folk, chill-out music, earthy trip-hop, and like "a swing on an ocean-front hammock". Mori was born in Gifu, and moved to Tokyo when 18. As a youth, he pursued music, also spending time in the Shonan area surfing. His debut album was 1991's Down In the Valley. The record was produced by Toshio Nakanishi, a former member of The Plastics, who also contributed some to the writing, as did bassist Kuni Sugimoto. Later Mori got into production work himself, producing Ua and Kaiseki-saida, and remixes for Nigo, Suika and the Silent Poets. Natural Calamity's early albums were on the well established indie File Records, where he released Down In the Valley, Let It Come Down (1992), and Sun Dance (1994). A reissue of material from this era is now available as Seagull Woman: Best of Natural Calamity 1991-1994. Natural Calamity's CDs were not heavily promoted but managed to sell very steadily, largely from positive word of mouth. In fact Mori's music made its way to America and the celebrated LA based studio wizards the Dust Brothers, John King and Mike Simpson, who have produced the Beastie Boys, the Rolling Stones and Beck amongst others. They liked what they heard to the degree that they signed Natural Calamity to their Ideal Records label. In 1996 they released Natural Calamity's Peach Head album, with American singer Stephanie Heasley on some tracks, and in support of the album the band made tours of both coasts of America, playing many of the dates with fellow Japanese musician Cornelius. After the Dust Brothers start running into business complications, Mori refocused on Japan, and in 2003 released Night Is Indigo on the Ape Sounds label, related to the well known fashion brand Bathing Ape. Along the way, Natural Calamity's music also made its way to Jack Johnson, who used the track "Dark Water & Stars" in a surf film he made with the Malloy brothers, called Thicker Than Water. While no new music under the Natural Calamity name has been released recently, a retrospective called Gathering: Best of Natural Calamity 1995-1999 has been released and tracks have appeared on many foreign and domestic compilations, often ones with ocean or chillout themes. Mori also started up other projects, including Uma Uma, under which name he recorded an album of guitar instrumentals, and Gabby & Lopez, which is basically Mori and guitarist Masayuki Ishi, along with support players who perform with them live, usually drums, keys and laptop. As Gabby & Lopez, they released Straw Hat in 2004 and Nicky's Dream in 2006. Both albums have a mellow groove, weaving intricate but relaxed melodies that have some stores filing them under "ambient music." In 2007 Mori took time to open a natural food restaurant in Tokyo, but is currently at work on a new Natural Calamity album for 2008.collapse
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czar indicated that no Kanji is used in name in February, 2009.
czar updated the profile for Natural Calamity in February, 2009.
czar added an image in February, 2009.
Keith Cahoon created artist page in February, 2008.
Artist page created by: Keith Cahoon
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