In the final hours of the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC, Milwaukee’s (now by way of Kentucky) IDM [‘intelligent dance music’] wizard, Erik Kowalski (Casino Versus Japan) will be performing tonight at midnight at the Cameo Gallery for Carpark Records’ 10th anniversary party.
Kowalski got his start sampling music from television shows as a kid and moved onto found sounds, eventually incorporating his growing knowledge of piano and electronics. In 2000, Kowalski released Go Hawaii on the now-departed Wobblyhead label.
BBC Music remarked of Casino Versus Japan’s second release, Whole Numbers Play the Basics, that “Kowalski’s approach is lo-fi; shrouding billowing synth arppegios with clouds of reverb and layering lush sustained chords over dirty analogue machine beats, his mournful, low key electronic offers a welcome alternative to microscopic sonic manipulation and squeaky clean digital noises. His reference points are at once familiar but hard to pin down; Brian Eno, early Kraftwerk and even Gary Numan are hinted at, along with (on the sublime ‘Making Lake Park in the Sun’) the queasy ghrob of My Bloody Valentine at their most atmospheric” (11/20/02).