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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Nav Katze -- Yuunagi(夕なぎ)

I was working part-time as a student assistant at University of Toronto's International Student Centre back in the late 1980s which meant that I took care of the facilities once or twice a week at night when the regular day staff went home. It was a nice gig, too, for the most part since some nice university clubs came in regularly to use the various rooms at the ISC. Plus, a few of my friends would come by and keep me company from time to time and after I close up, we may even walk down to Chinatown for a late-night dinner.

One of the regular groups that came on Tuesdays was the U of T chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism. I hadn't really known what they were all about but on a weekly basis, the friendly members signed off on one of the larger rooms on the ground floor and I could often hear some medieval music going on with what sounded like dancing from the rhythmic footsteps. As it turns out, the SCA is a group dedicated to life in the Middle Ages without all of the horrible diseases and violence. Nice men and women, they all were.

For some reason, when I listen to this song by (at-the-time) trio Nav Katze, I get reminded of the SCA. Perhaps "Yuunagi" (Evening Sun) strikes me as having this somewhat medieval vibe woven into its tapestry although it is obviously contemporary; I think it's partially because of that instrument which starts things off, but the whole tone throughout the song seems to be fitting for a pleasant adventure in the forest. Moreover, the music definitely stands out from the Japanese pop at the time so that I also think of the band PSY-S when I hear "Yuunagi" although PSY-S is more in the technopop realm.

"Yuunagi" served as Nav Katze's debut single from August 1987 and was also a track on the group's 2nd album "OyZaC" which came out a month later. I've already written about one of their later songs, "Nagori no Bara"(名残りの薔薇), so you may additionally want to give that one a try for comparison.

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