Part game of skill, but mostly a game of chance, Pachinko combines the ball bouncing action of a pinball game, with the element of chance of a slot machine. Pachinko in Japan is a form of gambling, slow paced, low stakes gambling. A Pachinko machine is like a miniature vertical pinball machine where the only control that a player has is the rate of ball ejection which is related to the initial velocity of the ejected balls. The goal of the game is to have the balls land in certain places at certain times. Part of the element of chance is created by numerous nails or pegs placed between the ejector and the goal areas, which make the balls bounce chaotically. When the balls land in the right place at the right time, one wins more balls. Most players seem to find what they feel is a sweet spot on the ejector controller, and then they seemingly hold their position constant, perhaps for hours. In Japan one can exchange one's accumulated balls for prizes and then not so secretly exchange these prizes for cash at nearby clandestine exchange spots.
The term Pachinko is derived from the Japanese word pachi-pachi, meaning the clicking of small objects or the crackling of fire. Pachinko parlors are ridiculously loud and noisy environments, both sonically and visually. Modem Pachinko machines combine the noise of the hundreds of bouncing steal balls with electronic video game noises, music and video game graphics. I believe that there is little question that there is some connection between the relative popularity of extreme noise music in Japan and the extreme popularity of Pachinko.
This recording is the result of wandering through three adjacent Pachinko parlors that I had not visited before. The inherent nature of such places combined with my unfamiliarity with the particular places that I wandered through, provided an element of chance. One could say that some skill was involved in that I consciously moved through these environments with the idea of creating a compelling recording. I lingered in areas that sounded interesting. I positioned my head to create interesting stereo effects. I traveled up and down escalators. At one point I actually sat down and attempted to play a game.
Track 1 was recorded in three adjacent Pachinko parlors in Omiya Tokyo Japan, live to mini-disc with eyeglass mounted Core Sound binaural microphones. This recording is best listened to on headphones.
Track 2 is an extreme noise, maximum volume, pure square wave remix of track 1. If one is listening on headphones, one should probably turn down the volume before track 2 starts.
Track 3 is a new version remastered for traditional stereo speakers.
Track 4 is a new harsh noise remix version.
[originally released in 2001 as a limited edition of 75 on www.carbonrecords.com
, each packaged in clear jewel-case with transparent inserts and pachinko-like metal balls]