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Zuntata is the "house band" of Japanese video game developer and publisher Taito. The band consists of sound director Katsuhisa Ishikawa, bassists Yu Shimoda and Shohei Tsuchiya, and drummer Masaki Mori. Zuntata is Taito's core sound department, and has become the collective name for the company's other sound production teams. The band has contributed to many of the company's franchises, including Darius, Groove Coaster, Arkanoid, and Space Invaders.

Zuntata's origins can be traced back to 1983, the year Taito established its sound division. The Zuntata name was employed in 1988, first used for the soundtrack for The Ninja Warriors. Zuntata's music was originally published by Pony Canyon, before these operations were moved in-house. Zuntata worked on several Taito arcade games, namely shoot 'em ups and rhythm games. The band also assisted in production of the X2000, a Taito-developed karaoke machine. After Taito was acquired by Square Enix in 2005, many of the band's members departed due to creative differences between them and executives, as Taito was shrinking its operations into becoming more of a game publisher and owner of video arcades.

Zuntata continues to produce music for Taito video games, working primarily on the Groove Coaster series. The band's music, a combination of abstract and synth-pop, has gotten attention from video game publications for its bizarre nature and strangeness. Both the band and its members have received awards, and its music has been published many times through albums and digital music storefronts such as iTunes and Spotify.

Band members[]

  • Shohei Tsuchiya: Composer of Darius Burst and ZUNTATA's bassist, joined ZUNTATA in 2008. Previously employed at FromSoftware as a sound designer.
  • Yuu Shimoda: Joined ZUNTATA in 2017 and composed for RayCrisis' mobile port. Previously employed at Inti Creates, also composed for Mega Man 9 and Atelier Ayesha prior joining to ZUNTATA.
  • Masaki Mori (aka. MASAKI): Joined ZUNTATA in 2015 and composed for Rhythmvaders 3 and RayStorm's mobile port as of now.
  • Katsuhisa Ishikawa (aka. Ishikawa Babio): The oldest ZUNTATA member until now. Mostly doing sound effects and voice acting.

Ex-ZUNTATA Members[]

  • Hisayoshi Ogura (aka. OGR): Main composer of the Darius series excluding Darius Twin and Darius Force. Going freelance in 2007, but composed one track for Darius Burst.
  • Masahiko Takaki (aka. Mar.): Sound designer of the first Darius game, as well as composer of Rastan and Night Striker. Left ZUNTATA around the early 2000s and retired composing.
  • Yasuhisa Watanabe (aka. Yack.): Composer of Metal Black, as well as sound designer of Darius II alongside Norihiro Furukawa. Left ZUNTATA in 2003 and joined SuperSweep.
  • Kazuko Umino (aka. karu.): ZUNTATA's keyboard player and composer of the Puzzle Bobble series and Liquid Kids. Left ZUNTATA around the early 2000s.
  • Norihiro Furukawa (aka. Joutouhei Nakayama/Wiz-Master): Composer/sound editor of Darius Twin, as well as sound designer of Darius II alongside Yasuhisa Watanabe. Left ZUNTATA around 2001-2002 and started doing freelance, mostly around SuperSweep.
  • Tomohito Takahashi (aka. Comoesta Takahashi): Guitarist of ZUNTATA. Left ZUNTATA around the early 2000s and now works as a freelance guitarist.
  • Munehiro Nakanishi (aka. Mu-Nakanishi): ZUNTATA's drummer and recording engineer. Left ZUNTATA around the early 2000s
  • Shuichiro Nakazawa (aka. SHU): ZUNTATA's percussionist and composer of Taito's flight simulators (Jet de Go 2 and Landing Gear). Left ZUNTATA around the early 2000s and now works as a freelance composer as well as a DJ under the name Schnack.
  • Tamayo Kawamoto (aka. TAMAYO): Composer of the Ray series, formerly employed at Capcom alongside Hiroshige Tonomura. She left Zuntata in 2006 to form Betta Flash together with the singer Cyua.