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Casino Versus Japan


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Casino Versus Japan is the recording name for Erik Kowalski (born May 5, 1973), a United States-based electronic musician from Lexington, Kentucky by way of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who produces intelligent dance music (IDM for short) with baroque melodies and distorted trip-hop beats.

As a young boy in Wisconsin he recorded episodes of television series Miami Vice, sampling Jan Hammer’s music, later collecting them, and playing them over the backdrop of other musical genres. After a brief stint with model railroading such experiments with tape grew less obvious. Samples were collected from a range of sources, and eventually mixed with meagre homespun recordings. Later attending Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, Kowalski would often be found playing the grand piano in the empty auditorium rather than attending class, slowly teaching himself chord progressions. During this same period, he also learned the basics of other instruments including guitar and drums in an effort to put together simple songs. By then, other influences began to take hold.

Kowalski (recording guitar-based, ambient/experimental music as Radiogate in 1996 and 1997) found many creative peers and grew into an integrated underground electronic music community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His tenure at Atomic Records, along with writing for the alternative fanzine Milk Magazine, kept him informed on developments within many styles of innovative music.


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