casino versus japan is the recording name for erik kowalski. recording guitar-based, ambient/experimental music as radiogate in 1996 and 1997. kowalski matured in the underground electronic music community in milwaukee, wisconsin.

he worked at atomic records and also wrote for the alternative fanzine milk magazine to stay informed on developments within many styles of innovative music. in early 1998, he approached mike bailey of the local electronic label star star stereo with some demo tapes, and shortly thereafter, released his self-titled debut casino versus japan. this subsequently led to live performances (including several dates opening for low) with charles wyatt (charles atlas) accompanying kowalski on guitar. in january 2000, go hawaii was released on cd by wobblyhead (later on double-vinyl lp by city centre offices, 2001). by the summer of 2002, the track "it's very sunny" was used in a hummer television commercial. his third album whole numbers play the basics, followed in september, 2002 on carpark records. the song "manic thru tone" was used in mtv's "choose or lose" campaign in the fall of 2002.