Review: Janin Tendo Data Risotto by Paza
Quack! Kick! Quaaaack! ... and yet another slaughtered migratory wild foul
falls by the road side. Is this yet more bird flu propaganda footage from
a 24hr news channel? Pass the Tamiflu. It's not? Then, quick! Someone call
the tabloids - I see another animal cruelty expose in the making! Wrong
again? Ah... I missed a vital piece of evidence - with those YM sounds it
can only be Paza battling his way to his nemesis, Dr. Von Duck!
Fighting the evil
powers... I must...
get to the hi-score
Winning is a must!
That's the vocoded vocal from Hopefoolia, the opening track to Paza's
Janin Tendo Data Risotto album. In the video (also produced by Paza), our
hero is seen battling his way through hordes of enemy roboducks, gaining
a canine companion along the way (only premier scrolling beat-em-ups
include this feature), cruising through a cashmoney bonus stage before
finally coming face to bill with the duck boss overlord himself. There is
a reason for all this. It's not just the mindless violence. The ducks
wanted revenge, you see. Paza has been making fun of them by imitating
their sounds in his music!
Yes, duck sounds. Quack! Doing a little research on Paza we find that in
his formative years he was a bass guitar player and some time later was
introduced to trackers using some kind of obscure computer known as an
'Amiga'. In more recent years he took to building his own analogue synths
and modules and also took up circuit bending kids toys in the quest for
unique sounds to flavour his music. This must be what upset Dr. Von Duck
Originally from Finland, Paza Rahm (not actually his real full name, it's
a secret) now resides in Sweden. He's never been involved with the atari
scene which is as surprising as it is unfortunate and only started using
the ST for music four years after obtaining it in 1999. Prior to that he
used an Amiga 1200 but that ended when he discovered how 'phat' the ST
could sound. And using XLR8 on his 1040STe along with homebrew synths, a
Roland SH-101, vocoder and toy keyboard, the album was produced in four
When I read a little about the album on 8bitpeoples I was expecting
something in the vein of Patric C's 1997 album 'The Horrible Plans of Flex
Busterman - a soundtrack to an imaginary videogame, but that was playing
right into Paza's hands. What we have here does have its moments of 80s &
90s arcade game action but what it also has is some skilful composition
and enjoyable proper music.
So let's take a look at the tracks.
Hopefoolia works.. I don't know why chip sounds, duck quacks, frog ribbits
and Transformer vocals work together - they just do. It's a storming and
uplifting tour de wetlands. And should you want to examine the lyrics in
serious depth, then check out Drx's words on Paza's site. It never gets
tired, has a great little breakdown and is fr-fr-fresh like a brand new
box of PG Tips.
Mayflower is a happy chippy little tune with a treacle centre and sugar
frosting. Imagine a summer's day, sitting in a field of wild poppies with
only a big old gameboy and a selection of fresh cream cakes for company.
The game will probably be a puzzler with additional action rpg platform
Eka is a little more like a standard console tune and is the weakest point
of the album. It doesn't really live up to it's own tidy little intro. But
at 2:30 it's not long until we have:
Lost You. I think of this as a sister track to Hopefoolia in that it has
similar elements including the vocoder and animal noises, only this time
I'm at a loss trying to decipher the lyrics. It's upbeat & cheerful
musically with a more sombre vocal.
Sosmall is so small yet is a thrilling ride involving children yelling,
ducks quacking and a sample that could well be from Konami's Track &
Field arcade. I don't think sosmall has anything to do with the
W32/Nodoom.a@MM virus, the short track length is a more likely reason for
Mammutti isn't as mammoth in length as the title suggests at a little over
3:00, but in every other sense it's BIG. An almost trance-inducing alarm
rock number and my personal thumbs-up favourite track here. I can only
imagine the chaos as he drops this track and absolutely brings the roof
Pazatari is the final Paza track and a good example of real modern YM
chippy stuff. Great stuff.
Hopefoolia remixed by Restart follows. It is a good track but
unfortunately not any better than the original and not too far from
feeling the same.
Evil Hi-Score is a Hopefoolia strip down rebuild by Paza's famed brother
Psilodump. A highly impressive ethereal yet at the same time
nose-bleedingly noisy version for the deep dancefloor variety of atariboy.
Imagine the silvery wings of a moth as it sits by an upturned Mission
speaker bass port.
Summing up, the album instantly scores bonus points before a blip is even
blopped for having both Nintendo & Atari in the title! My only criticism
would be that at just 31 minutes including the two lengthy remixes there's
just not enough, I want more! As a great man once said, "it's good if you
like that kind of thing". If there's anyone reading who doesn't like atari
chip music I'd be more than a little surprised. Forget your remix albums,
if you want an album of ST music, this is it! If you only buy one
duckpowerymvocoderibbit album this year, make sure it's Janin Tendo Data
Rating out of 10 :Buy it.
sh3-rg for Alive, 2005-11-12