Tuesday, 8 June 2010

t+pazolite feat. リズナ is a match made in heaven AND hell... LET'S ROCK!

Sweet & Sour, Salt & Pepper, Oil & Vinegar... sometimes opposites work so damn well together. Such is the case with t+pazolite and リズナ, the unlikely union between an outstanding hardcore producer and a veteran denpa vocalist. Doesn't matter whether their collaborations are rough or soft, they always find a way to make them stand out. But before we explore their team efforts, let's look at their individual profiles first.

リズナ is still a very fresh name in the world of denpa, having been around since late 2008 only. But there's a twist... before her current persona, she operated under two other nicknames in the past ten years. Who would have thought that such a cute and frail little voice belonged to a battle-hardened veteran? Between 1999 and 2005, she was known as 雨宮林檎 (AMAMIYA Ringo). Her old website is definitely in line with the HTML design of yore. In fact it's so old that it can only be accessed via the Wayback Machine, which even archived a bunch of her voice samples. Ever the otaku, she began her career by lending her voice to a ton of doujin and adult PC games such as 夢の少女~DreamGirl~ and Mission Field Intruder 3rd.

Starting in 2005, she switched her pseudonym to 鈴木ななこ (SUZUKI Nanako) and started her website Seven's Bell. She kept doing voice work for PC games, notably the first in FLAT's esteemed SHMUP series eXceed, as well as narration for Laudese's 「Aria - 永劫の音語り -」 story CD. She also appeared in a few more adult PC games, but significantly less so. More interestingly, she began doing moe voices (and her first songs) as Mango, in the "virtual idol" trio Triple Ice Cream, which led to her first denpa collaborations with t+pazolite. In May 2008 she released 「relish」, a best-of compilation album from her "Nanako" years that features 15 tracks of original denpa/moe material. It was released in very limited quantities at M3-21 and never reissued.

During that second era, she was also strongly associated to Silly Walker, certainly one of the oldest Touhou arrange circles out there (2000 to 2008). When Silly Walker stopped in 2008, their founder started another circle which you might be familiar with (Siestail), hence the continued relationship with リズナ (who mysteriously changed names at the same time). In fact, Siestail recently released a 2-disc compilation album 「ザ・ベストてゐ」 that features three re-recorded versions of old 鈴木ななこ songs, now released under her latest pseudonym (such as 「れらかむいろっく」). リズナ still has a strong link to Siestail nowadays, recently singing two decidedly denpa tracks on C77's superb 「かえるさん☆ダ・KERO!」.

Fun fact: she also sang a ton of songs for Mel Seeds, who recently contributed a track on the first album for the new denpa duo 天然ジェミニ (tenjemi)... it's a small world after all! For a (probably) complete list of her most recent work, head on over to her VGMDB listing. So for whatever reasons, she ditched many of her web radio and PC game activities to focus mainly on Touhou arrange songs and changed her artist name twice, which has caused a bit of confusion. However, her voice remains just as sweet and unmistakable; so as long as they get new songs, her fans certainly couldn't care less what she calls herself.

t+pazolite is a prolific composer/arranger/remixer who publishes music albums via his own circle C.H.S (Cutie & Headshaking Sounds). Born in 1985, he started being active while in his late teens (2004) and has released seven albums to this day, not to mention dozens of collaborations with other circles. In fact, he originally started as a member of HARDCORE TANO*C, but once again please refer to his VGMDB listing for complete details.

His style is mostly Hardcore as well as House, Trance and Techno, but he has admitted a strong affinity to denpa. In reality, this is most likely what sets his compositions apart, because they are very unpredictable and memorable (prime qualities of a denpa song). While he is certainly known for his Touhou arranges, he has also covered Klonoa and Espgaluda tracks. Lately he has teamed up with the notorious Sapporo Hardcore Channel (S.H.C) and formed the side-label CHSHC on which he releases the 「108 Sketches」 series (1, 2).

As previously mentioned, t+pazolite started collaborating with リズナ back when she used her second name. His denpa compositions usually feature her voice, but lately he has worked with Holic Service and ゆきまめ, contributing 「ふにふに秘密の補習授業」 to the phenomenal fourth entry in their "Energy Reimen" series. While he rarely writes lyrics, he certainly does not shy away from eyebrow-raising song titles such as "to Luv me I *** for u" and "f**king わんわん"... but things get far more explicit with "Kick ur love" which will be discussed in the HELL section. Despite his extreme hardcore personality, t+pazolite has a soft side which means he can appeal to both ends of the doujin crowd.


Enough with the bios, time for music! Their second-ever collaboration also figures as one of their most popular ones. Touhou covers have legs and 「Unlimited Spark!」 is no different, still turning heads despite having been released in May 2006. It's also been remixed a few times, notably by Silver Forest. t+pazolite wrote interesting comments about each one of the songs on this album and even put it up for free download!

Triple Icecream is where t+pazolite and リズナ first hit it off denpa-style. TIC is a virtual idol unit that existed between 2006 and 2007, long enough to release a handful of singles and possibly a compilation album (details are scarce). It featured リズナ in the role of Mango, the affable rug rat. They released a bunch of songs, but two of them are of particular interest to this article. The first one is 「マンゴーのモンモンソング♪」 (lyrics), a true denpa powerhouse which came out in July 2007. Sugary hardcore and anguished loli screams make for a violent combination. But they actually started things off in December 2006 with 「Magical Sweet Christmas」, a moe x-mas song. They wrapped up the Icecream era with 「桃色信号DE ゴー☆」(also appeared on the RELISH CD) but unfortunately it is nowhere to be found on the internets.

Gottamaze」 is a pretty sweet C.H.S album full of happy hardcore and fast-paced moe songs. It was released in December 2007 (Comiket 73) and featured 「Let's Fall In Love!」 (鈴木ななこ collaboration) as its opening track. It gets better: it also has a track by 小宮真央, who recently delivered a mind-blowing denpa performance on Holic Service's masterpiece 「エネルギー冷麺 お受験せんそ→☆」. Connections, connections! Get your connections!!!

The last t+pazolite feat. 鈴木ななこ song (before her second name change) came out on the album 「SCARLET EYES」 which was released in August 2008 (Comiket 74) and published by ALiCE'S EMOTiON. Being REDALiCE's label, this was more of a typical Touhou cover album so 「ねむれないよ。」 probably stuck out like a sore thumb to regular hardcore fans, but who knows? Maybe this bold move scored t+pazolite a couple new listeners.

Finally for the HEAVEN stuff, we have two リズナ tracks on 「Ultra Cute!?」 (December 2008), t+pazolite's ridiculously awesome moe-denpa Touhou cover album. Actually the second of those is (a possibly remixed version of) 「ねむれないよ。」, which had already been released four months ago on the previously described album. The new song 「Otenba so ⑨te!」 starts out quietly enough but watch out! This thing packs quite a punch!!! This was the first song for リズナ (under her new pseudonym) and you can already tell that she changed a few things. It seems she managed to tweak her vocals into sounding much more distinct and aggressive. There's also a pretty fast spoken part which was probably a first for her at the time.

Anyway that's it for the heavenly t+pazolite and 鈴木ななこ/リズナ songs. Next up, the evil stuff!


Since her latest name change, リズナ has mostly collaborated with Siestail (formerly Silly Walker) and her old pal 雪月 ありす (Mel Seeds). Her collaborations with t+pazolite haven't stopped but somehow took an interesting turn for the hardcore, despite her new name being attached to some of the silliest denpa out there.

What's that? You think I'm making up this EVIL shit? Skip to 1:50 and back the fuck up! Check out these fucking lyrics.
...you think so that? Oh shit!

don't show your face. (Fuck you!)
I don't need your all. (Fuck you!)
you say "hear my say"(Fuck you!)
I care. Stay away! (Fuck you!)
Too yucky for me (Fuck you!)
to see you again. (Fuck you!)
Go home cherry boy, (Fuck you!)
and cheer up your john.

Kiss my asshole motherfucker!
As well as being a bitching track, 「Kick ur Luv」 wins the Golden Palm of Best Engrish Lyrics Ever, Forever And More™ (of all time). Bar none. Check out the rest of this linguistic tour de force while you cheer up your john, asswipe. The rest of 「108 Sketches」 is just as vile musically, but you ain't gonna get lyrics like these anywhere else in the world. It just boggles the mind that this is all coming out from the mouth of sweet little リズナ !

「Ghostly Parapara Ship (Hardcore Edit)」 is another pretty good example of their renewed relationship. It's fast and abrasive, has a ton of bite but is still just weird enough to stand out from the rest. It came out in December 2009 on 「SPHERE CALIBER」, yet another high-profile release from ALiCE'S EMOTiON. But that wasn't the only version of that song to come out at C77...

Unconnected」 was definitely one of the best albums to come out at C77, tous genres confondus. It's hardcore for the hardcore, sure, but it's also a Touhou cover album that doesn't sound like one at all. You can sort of tell the influence that lies beneath blastbeat-happy heavyweights such as 「nitrx」 and 「Dust, Mote.」, but you won't be overwhelmed by that déjà vu feeling you might get from other such albums.

This album includes THREE リズナ tracks, namely the title track 「unconnected」 as well as 「limited spark」 and 「Ghostly Parapara Ship (Horror struck Edit)」 (sampled above). The first two aren't on Youtube, so you'll have to check out this crossfade sampler instead (0:00 and 3:30 respectively). 「limited spark」 is a gloomy remix of their first success 「Unlimited Spark!」 and the "Horror Struck Edit" is the alluded second version of 「Ghostly Parapara Ship」, ironically even more hardcore than the first one, despite the title change).

ZUN's original touhou song 「明日ハレの日、ケの昨日」 certainly has seen its fair share of remixes, but t+pazolite and リズナ somehow managed to eliminate all signs of redundancy in their interpretation 「Hale in the 270°」. The song came out in March 2010 and appeared on 「Double Counterpoint」 from Alstroemeria Records, who were behind the whole "Bad Apple" craze. Another interesting fact about this label is that they seem to heavily favor English song and album titles. They also got denpa-avowed のみこ to sing a bunch of songs for them, that's cool too.

Finally (as of today), we have their most recent collaboration song 「Ecstatic Requiem」 which appeared on the still-hot 「108 Sketches 2」 (released May 2010). Like the first album, it only includes original tracks by t+pazolite and his buddy RoughSketch. Still no Youtube presence for this song, so you'll have to rely on the low-quality player above or this high-quality crossfade sampler to get the good stuff, which kicks in at 2:56. Not to say that the rest of the album is bad, oh no, don't get me wrong. This is gold, Jerry... GOLD. There's even a remix of 「Kick ur Luv」 at 5:07, with asshole-kissing lyrics that are just as inappropriate as ever.


There you have it, motherfuckers. Oops, I guess I let their hell side get the better of me! The truth is that this duo can do no wrong, it's quite amazing how they can travel such a broad spectrum and still sound so relevant. In closing, perhaps you're more of a denpa-slash-リズナ fan who had no idea about her dark side (or her long-lasting career, for that matter!). Or perhaps you're a J-Core head who found out about this article while searching for a t+pazolite bio. Bottom-line is that no matter which camp you hail from, you should absolutely check out the other side of the fence.

Sources: VGMDB, dojin-music.


mandichan said...

WOW what an in-depth article!! I learned a ton of things from this. Great job on all your research. You are hardcore man.

I love her voice and works with t+pazolite. His music on its own is often a bit too hardcore / noisy for me to really get into, but once it's combined with her sweet sweet voice, it evens out into something even better than each on their own. Like sugar and baking chocolate or something!! I'm going to have to check out the releases mentioned here I haven't heard yet.

Thanks for spending what I'm sure was a killer amount of time on this! lol

Null Vista said...

Oh maaaan, thanks for introducing me to t+pazolite. Now I can get both of my wants, hardcore madness, and awesome denpa. Yeah!

z411 said...

Nice to know you're a fan of J-Core too. Too bad the current fanbase isn't as good as before though.