Who is Kamura Obscura

Kamura Obscura explores vocal improvisation with electronics, experimental composition with noise, viola, and lyrical yet surreal singing.

 

Kamura Obscura is Atsuko Kamura (vocal, synth, fx) and Natalie Mason (strings, piano, accordion). Also, it is performed as Atsuko Kamura's solo.

Atsuko Kamura

One of Tokyo's most emotive and inventive singers, part of Japan’s 80s  women’s liberation movement, Atsuko founded the first Japanese feminist rock band, Mizutama Shobodan, also known as Polkadot Fire Brigade.

 As agitprop feminist pioneers. Mizutama Shobodan toured Japan extensively and released two albums, the second of which, Manten ni Akai Hanabira (Red Petals in the Sky) was produced by Fred Frith.

 

She also performed with Tenko at the International Women's Music Festival in Montreal in 1988 as the female vocal duo Honeymoons, which went on to tour the US. The Honeymoons also performed with seminal New York improvisers, Tom Cora and John Zorn. Their album "Laughing Myth", produced by Kenichi Takeda, was released in 1982. 

As a member of the improvisation group, "Uzo Muzo", she performed at Strasbourg's Musica Festival in 1987.

 

Atsuko joined Kazuko Hohki’s UK based Japanese pop group Frank Chickens in 1988 and toured Europe, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USSR and Japan.

 

In 2002 she began working with Robert Storey and a new ensemble called  I am A Kamura. Alongside this project, she performed with Anglo-Japanese jazz progressive rock band, Setsubun Bean Unit at the Sonar festival in Barcelona in 2007.

Her latest project, Kamura Obscura, released the albums Melt, Socrates' Garden and Speleology. Kamura Obscura's latest album  "4 AM Diary" came out in December 2021.

Atsuko performed as a traditional Benshi narrator alongside a  live score by Sinestro Home Video at the Flat Pack Film Festival in 2019. 

Kamura Obscura also supported the Nightingales' sold-out UK tour in autumn 2021. 

Natalie Mason

Birmingham-born classically trained, multi-instrumentalist and composer. Leader of an innovative music project, Multicultural Music Making and organiser of Club Integral Midlands Branch. With the experience of living in South Africa, she writes intricate instrumentals and surreal songs about times in Birmingham and beyond while playing as many instruments as she can get a-hold of.

 

カムラアツコ

 

80年代、日本初のフェミニストばかりのパンクバンド「水玉消防団」(可夜、カムラ、天鼓、まなこ、宮本-san)で、ボーカリスト、ベーシストとして音楽活動開始。日本パンクシーンの一翼を担う。大学祭、全国ツアーなどの公演多数。2枚目のアルバム「満点に赤い花びら」は、フレッド・フリスのプロデュースとなる。

 

同時に天鼓との即興ボーカル・デュオ「ハネムーンズ」にて、ニューヨーク、モントリオール、ヨーロッパで公演、ジョン・ゾーン始めニューヨーク・インプロバイザー等と共演する。

 

その後、英国に渡りポップグループ「フランクチキンズ」でホーキ・カズコとペアを組む。オーストラリアを始め、ニュージーランド、アメリカ、カナダ、ヨーロッパ、ソビエトなどツアー。90年代は、ロンドンで始まったレイブシーンでダンスミュージックの洗礼を受ける。

2000年以降、「I am a Kamura」、「Setsubun bean unit」でフォーク、エスニック、ジャズ音楽の領域に挑戦。

 

現在のプロジェクト「Kamura Obscura」では、Melt, Socrates' Garden、Speleologyのアルバムをリリース。エレクトロニクス、サウンドスケープ、即興の渾然一体となったさらに実験的な新作、4AM Diaryを2021年末にリリース。同年、秋にはイギリスのポストパンクバンド、Nightingalesの満席完売全国ツアーをサポートする。

2019年には、Flat Pack Film Festival にて、日本の前衛映画の名作、狂った一頁の弁士を務めた。