Casino Versus Japan Whole Numbers Play the Basics


We know what it’s like to wait. It’s been three years since the last Casino Versus Japan full-length. Heaps
of underground praise was placed on Milwaukee’s Casino Versus Japan (aka Erik Kowalski) after the release of that record Go Hawaii. It acquired instant cult status through a combination of its incredibly catchy melodies and sporadic availability. Now the waiting is over. Carpark is happy to present the long overdue whole numbers play the basics.

Whole numbers play the basics is altogether a moodier, more introspective record. The distinctive melodic songwriting is still there, but the textures and structures are chosen from a wider musical palette. While Go Hawaii was all bliss and summer joy, whole numbers play the basics is the sound of life after the endless summer. If Go Hawaii was Casino Versus Japan’s Surfin Safari, then whole numbers play the basics is his Pet Sounds.

Hip-hop beats, dark tones, airy melodies, and hearty bass patterns show off a musical mind informed by sources ranging from the classic works of David Axelrod and Pink Floyd to more contemporary heroes like boards of Canada and My Bloody Valentine. This one is a true feast for lovers of sound.

Artist Bio

Once upon a time, in a small town huddled along the western shore of Lake Michigan, a young boy began recording episodes of Miami Vice on a portable cassette player. Propping the recorder near the speaker of his television, he anxiously awaited the scenes in which Jan Hammer’s music took center stage. The tapes were then collected for repeated listens, often times played over and over again against the backdrop of a wide variety of other musical genres.

After a brief stint with model railroading, such experiments with tape grew less and less obvious. Bits were collected from a range of sources, and eventually mixed with meager homespun recordings. Choosing to play the massive grand piano in the often- empty auditorium of Lincoln High School rather than attend classes, he slowly taught himself chord progressions. During the same period he learned the basics of other instruments including guitar and drums in an effort to put together simple songs. By then, other formidable influences began to take hold.

Casino Versus Japan (recording as Radiogate in 1996 and 1997) found many creative friends and grew into a very supportive and integrated underground electronic music community in Milwaukee. His tenure at Atomic Records, along with writing for the alternative fanzine Milk Magazine, kept him informed of the exciting developments within many styles of innovative, exciting music. While being a rabid music consumer and collector, all of these points became the ingredients of a dedicated music hobby. The rest of the story and in-between are now open for investigation and interpretation.


1. Single Variation Of Two

2. Moonlupe

3. Aquarium

4. The Possible Light

5. Summer Clip

6. Koma Sign-Off

7. Em Essey

8. Tryptiline Fabricate

9. Where To? / What For?

10. You Were There

11. Making Lake Park In The Sun

12. Manic Thru Tone

13. Trad Velecido

14. Slo Bid Bellwave