sound & art by J.G.W

Posts tagged “Review

light reading

A review of I Have A Heaven Ending And Weaving Thin Threads Of Darkness From The Light That Was Given” can be found here on fluid-radio, and here on A closer listen.
Thanks for the attention.




Heart Attack Money review

Wow, this review really made my day. I’m so immensely thankful that you are listening.

Tsukimono – Heart Attack Money (2009)


1. Oh Cannibal

2. Gloomy Sunday 

3. I’ve Got To Go

4. I Am Going

5. Get Gone

6. My Heart Has An Ache, It’s Heavy As A Stone

7. Soymilk Turns To Blood

8. Hands Over A Key

Tsukimono is the ambient project of Swede Johan Gustavsson. With a sound lazy and countless mesmerizing melodies argues that some try to arouse our existential angst. With a piano and guitar by adding a collage of samples, noises and sounds in addition to some occasional white noise walls weaves a song as beautiful as distressing. This was presented as a talented musician who knows exactly what mix they offer all kinds of melodies and textures.

Oh Cannibal Start with a simple piano melody as qualified by the effects of falling water brings us to the perfect mental state for this record, we evades reality and plunges us into a world of tenderness and sadness. Something perfect for when you get your version of the Hungarian suicide song, Gloomy Sunday. With a calm guitar and a wall of white noise light background weaves a melody in which the voice sounds landed what looks like wood warping. The voice and lyrics, heartbreaking contrast with the melody, melancholy, making a perfect whole incitement to suicide had never been so beautiful. In I’ve Got To Go back to the simple melodies with some touches that are defining the noisy song. I Am Going On but landed in a pure noise that pinpoints with great pause and harmony in our eyes for the final saturated in a wall of white noise and all of which will go to less and go out. Get Gone On return to the evocative piano melodies and turn around of applause samplers that simulate rain falling. At least until they reach the few voice notes, and the wall of white noise, this brutal storm, takes over the song while the piano struggle to overcome it. In My Heart Has An Ache, It’s Heavy As A Stone found a nice little piece that is reminiscent of the calmer moments of Boris.Thing that is finished on the immensely sad and simple Blood Turns To Soymilk.To finish Hands Over A Key takes us into a wall of white noise very aggressive already, anymore, can escape.

This album is sublime, beautiful and very well done. Despite its brevity it shows the care and the care that has gone into each and every one of the songs. Thus form a perfect ensemble where not even need to spare a single second where each and every one of the songs feed off the rest. A mammoth song to the human suffering that would delight the Cioran Kierkegaard and more depressed. An absolutely colossal album that I personally am not able to stop listening.

Come and see, please.

found here.

(btw it’s a google-translation so that’s why the grammar is completely weird at times.)


Heart Attack Money + Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance 7″ Reviews


Monday morning after a weekend out playing with Eight Arms. Awesome shows and awesome people.
Thanks to Meleeh and Suis La Lune, who really are two amazing swedish bands you should check out if you’re into hardcore/screamo.
Especially the new Meleeh-songs sounds just crushing. More darkness than before and in my book, sounds like the best stuff they’ve ever done.
So incredibly psyched about their upcoming album in february.

Now, I’ve gotten a second review of “Heart Attack Money” and it makes the situation even more funny, because this one is a really nice one.
The usually very picky and hard to please Frans De Waard of (amongst other things) Vital Weekly-fame says this:

“One can doubt wether I reviewed all releases by Johan Gustavsson, also known as Tsukimono, but usually I was taken by his music. I associate his music with dark ambient with a strong influence of noise music, but here he takes me by surprise. Eight tracks on this relatively short album, but what a variety of music. There are really mean noisy bits, but also piano pieces and even pop like pieces. The one stand out piece, among an already lot, is ‘Gloomy Sunday’, with guitar playing and a vocal taken from an old 78 rpm (I think). What a lovely piece. But the rest is pretty refined too. This is melancholic music in optima forma.Think Oren Ambarchi, spiced with a bit of noise and a bit of piano. So far his best album, as far as I can see.”

This makes me really happy and now my greatest wish in the world would be a dialogue/article between Frans and Richard (who cut my album down real hard on the Silent Ballet) discussing the album. It would be awesome to see what pro’s and con’s the two could come up with.

All joking aside, it’s nice to see that people think differently and aren’t afraid to express it. All music isn’t for everyone and I’m the last person to quality-check my own stuff. I like everything I’ve done, it has different values and qualities to me but that doesn’t make it all top-notch stuff.
I’m just lucky that I’m not a big artist who gets every second of their life and music dissected and analyzed. I’ve come to understand that most of the people who like what I do are really open-minded and interested people. Interested in change, development, experimentation, finding something new that gets your heart pumping faster or your legs moving again. This is not as much ass-kissing to my listeners as it looks like (well, in a way I guess it is).But I really do mean this…

Also: Frans reviews my upcoming 7″ “Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance”, but I think he lost interest or time halfway through:

“More Tsukimono on a 7″. ‘Gotta Sing’ on the a-side is a heavy beast of improvised guitar music, multi-layered to create an intense sonic overload.”

And that’s all.
Nice to see the review anyways… Now I’m gonna drink some more coffee and prepare my drawings for an upcoming exhibition in Sthlm later this week.

Take care. /j

First H.A.M-review!! Finally…

Since releasing the album “Heart Attack Money” earlier this year I’ve from time to time been scanning the internet for a review or two, but alas…to no avail.

So, today I finally found one…over at a page I actually often read, The Silent Ballet.

I worked really hard on this album and it has a lot of deep meaning to me, mainly the thing that I listened to Billie Holiday more than anything, over and over and over and over again, while I for 2 years travelled in my car almost daily between 3 different cities quite far apart in Sweden, and I’m really glad someone finally took the time to listen to it.

Here’s the review:

Tsukimono – Heart Attack Money

Score: 3/10

Billie Holiday’s 1941 hit, “Gloomy Sunday,” tells the tale of a person in mourning who is contemplating suicide. Due to numerous anecdotal stories of people listening to the song and launching themselves from rooftops, the BBC banned the tune, which eventually became known as “The Hungarian Suicide Song.” Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all, my heart and I have decided to end it all. The song is beautiful, heartfelt, and golden. Upon hearing this tune sampled on Tsukimono’s track of the same name, I was transported to the land of wistful nostalgia – that is, until I realized that the sample was repeating, and would continue to repeat for five minutes of an eight-minute song, until all the resonance, all the majestic melancholia, had been bleached from its bones, leaving only a husk of what was once the most dangerous song in all existence. This killed the album for me, absolutely killed it – pun intended – because by the time the song was over I felt the urge to jump from the Empire State Building, to shoot myself in the head, to do anything to escape from this tedious, endless loop.

A successful album can’t have such a spiky annoyance protruding from its digital grooves. And so I looked for something else to salvage. “I Am Going” is the next track that juts out, due to a seemingly inexhaustible supply of high-pitched trills, rusty boat squeaks, and hospitalized ring tones. This is another experiment, one that might have worked better had there been an underlying blueprint, a sense of purpose, or even a promotion of the sub-melodies from the distant background to the fore. Alas, no – and this is the middle piece of an oddly conjugated trilogy (“I’ve Got to Go,” “I Am Going,” “I’m Gone”). You’re only as good as your best sample, and this one is piss-poor.

Once these tracks are removed (easy to do when one has a digital copy), the album begins to sound a bit better. But I have already started down the Bizarro road of reviews, choosing not the tracks to highlight, but those to excise. And that’s where things get a bit dicey. I enjoy the piano playing on a few cuts, but the distorted vocals keep popping up to ruin them, most notably on “My Heart Has An Ache, It’s as Heavy as Stone,” featuring a sample from the 1933 jazz standard, “I Cover the Waterfront.” Once again, I am confronted with an echo of something much, much greater, chopped up, tamed, reduced. Not even Moby would have mistreated a classic in such a way. I wanted to find my grandmother’s old Victrola, leaf through her 78’s, and immerse myself in authentic despair, rather than the manufactured and processed.

Sure, there are moments on this album that fail to offend: a couple lean tracks, glistening with the occasional keyboard note, time-stretched melodies whose silences are filled by tentative drones. And “Get Gone” gets the balance right, with just the right amount of rain falling into the cracks of the piano pavement, and a much quieter sung sample, a word, perhaps two, impossible for this reviewer to identify. This piece, as well as the pleasingly abrasive closer, “Hands Over a Key,” are the foundations upon which this Swedish composer is advised to build.

The overall problem – and yes, we have encountered this all too often – is the buckshot of Tsukimono releases, sixteen in the last four years alone. Take just one track from each of these releases, perhaps even leaving out a few, and the culling could reveal a choked beauty struggling to bloom. But the problem specific to this release is that there are some songs whose definitive renditions can never be topped, and these cuts respond poorly to half-hearted mastication. Many sound artists have plundered back catalogues in order to comment on prior pieces, or have integrated them with reverence or irony into larger compositions. Neither force is called into play here. Heart Attack Money is instead a reminder that greater music existed once, and while its distorted echo can still be heard, we’d rather have the real thing.
– Richard Allen

It’s actually not as bad as Richard here thinks, trust me. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but I must say that the Moby-comment was a bit harsh, ouch Richard!

Soon: “Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance” 7″ (finally!)
“Tell Each Other Ghost Stories” Split with Dwayne Sodahberk

Also some live-shows coming up in Stockholm and Gothenburg. More info soon!

love, j