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casino vs japan
go hawaii
city centre offices   2000
  see also
"via"
"whole numbers play the basics"
city centre offices website

album rating: 2
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submitted by anton on 4-Oct-2001
this is my absolute favorite among other casino vs. japan releases. this is where the best traits of this artist (erik kowalski) came together in one undeniably outstanding release.

think warm, glowing atmosphere with frazzled percussion, drawn-out strings that have a wonderful flowing quality that can remind you of downtempo melodies by boards of canada or melancholy of ultra milkmaids. think playful little keys, a few glitches and blips here and there, overlaid with deep, swelling synths. analog lines and a touch of acoustic guitar (references to latest u-cover material, anyone?)

what is so remarkable is the absence of monotony (ultra milkmaids reference here), no matter how lazy and relaxed the atmosphere is. there is always a rhythm, be it a slow pulse of melting icicles among the shimmering sunlight, or dreamy late summer afternoon, when music envelopes you completely in its warm waves.

yet another fact that I realize in retrospect, is how balanced this release is. sometimes the overabundance of acoustic elements is simply bothersome (as it is with some of the sybarite or even lusine icl material), sometimes those acoustic elements are way too artificial, awkwardly sticking out from rhythmic electronic patterns. "go hawaii" flows smoothly, seamlessly, building on the foundation of their previous, largely ambient self-titled album.

this is one of the best examples of this peculiar type of electronic music that emphasizes melody, as the most essential part of the track, at the same time gathering its inspiration both from past decades of electronic music and some of the innovative idm trends.

to summarize, I can only recommend this album as the most elegant, most remarkable, most seamless, most talented effort in this genre, that easily rivals any boards of canada output, pushing the standards set in this style of music. the atmosphere of "go hawaii" is what stays with you long after the album is finished; I kept coming back to this remarkable record for weeks and weeks after I have initially heard it. supposedly it will be re-released sometime this year (for the third time now, this alone should tell you something), so you might still have a chance to get a hold of it.

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