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About Natural Calamity

The Shibuya-kei trio known as Natural Calamity is a bit of an anachronism compared to others in the rich Japanese pop scene characterized by Cornelius and Pizzicato Five. The earthy trip-hop blues produced by Shunji Mori and Kuni Sugimoto, plus American Stephanie Heasley's countrified vocals come in marked contrast to Tokyo's many French/Brazilian/exotica aficionados. Mori and Sugimoto met in the early '90s, and produced their first album Dawn in the Valley for File Records, owned by Toshio Nakanishi of Love T.K.O. Let It Come Down and Sundance followed, as well as the collaboration LP Group of Gods, recorded with Nakanishi and Masayaki Kudo (who form half of the trip-hop quartet Skylab). While Sugimoto was spending some time in London, he met Stephanie Heasley, who was working at the Tower Records store in Piccadilly Circus. After recording in London and Spain as a trio, Natural Calamity signed to the Idyllic/Toy's Factory label and released Andulucian Moon. Hyped in the Japanese press, the group earned American distribution through the Dust Brothers' Nickelbag label for their second LP, 1998's Peach Head. The inevitable remix album followed, with contributions by Stock, Hausen & Walkman, the Dust Brothers, Buffalo Daughter and Kool Keith. ~ John Bush

Tokyo, Japan

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