I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

festa mode -- Kaze to Tabi Shiyou(風と旅しよう)

Since for the previous couple of articles, I've been reminding myself of what was the music en vogue for certain time periods, I will use the same tactic to start off this article. For me, the early 1990s represented the slow fade out of the aidoru coming in since the 1980s, the advent of guitar pop/rock bands, Shibuya-kei and the beginning of the Komuro Boom.

There was also the shift of female singers from late 80s City Pop with those on-the-town champagne synths to a breezier pop sound. Off the top of my head, names such as Miki Imai(今井美樹)and Midori Karashima(辛島美登里)come to mind.

One day, I then encountered this relatively short-lived group called festa mode. Made up of vocalist Yukako Ichiki*(一木有佳子), guitarist Hiroshi Sunada*(砂田裕史)and keyboardist Hitoshi Kudo(工藤仁志), this trio had a run between 1992 and 1997 with 10 singles and 4 albums (including a BEST release).

A number of festa mode's songs were used for television ads, including this one called "Kaze to Tabi Shiyou" (Let's Travel with the Wind) which qualifies for that breezier pop sound. Listening to this track from their second album "FESTA MODE II" released in September 1994 for the third time, I could pick out the instruments that I can associate with all of this mellowness: gentle piano and tender strings. "Kaze to Tabi Shiyou" even contains a French horn from the 1970s. I appreciated that horn in my old radio pop songs although I couldn't play it for beans.

The song was used as the campaign song for The Japan Owners' Association in horse racing.

*The last names have a variety of readings so if the above are incorrect, please let me know.

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