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Alive 11
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
so much.

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
short months.

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
the title.

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
Alive 11