Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kowalski Worship

Casino Versus Japan - Via Hotknives

I love it when music and a moment come together perfectly. I was walking home from work the other day through a proper London pea-souper – almost completely surrounded by fog as I marched over Tower Bridge in eerie darkness – and this fantastic song by Casino Versus Japan came on my iPod. The swirling haunted fairground synths and warm melodies enveloped me like an opiate cuddle as the static fizz and thud of the beats dictated my walking rhythm. ‘Via Hotknives’ is taken from a 10” released back in 2001 on the fabulously-monikered Wobblyhead.

Like many, I have been eagerly awaiting the Milwaukee-based producer Erik Kowalski’s fourth studio album. He hasn’t released an LP since ‘Whole Numbers Play the Basics’, which came out on Carpark Records in 2002 (the 2004 retrospective 'Hitori + Kaiso: 1998 – 2001' (Attack Nine) doesn't count as a new album, though it is utterly essential listening). I suppose the upside of this seven-year wait is that I am constantly revisiting his back catalogue, and falling deeper and deeper in love with Kowalski’s incredible output. His consistency levels are unparalleled and his sound is truly unique - every single song he has composed is a melancholic delight. As Boomkat once proclaimed - "you wonder how this quiet little guy from Milwaukee isn't king of the world". 2009 is slated as the year Kowalski re-enters the fray - I'm crossing everything I can that this is the case.

On a final note – massive apologies to my throat and lungs. Hot knives – what the hell was I thinking…

Nearly all Casino Versus Japan releases are out of print, but you can search eBay
Casino Verus Japan discography
Casino Versus Japan MySpace