Graffiti61 - "Space Tourist"
(self-released 2005)

From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)

In the moment and weeks before I even sat down and listened and began to write this, I happened to find myself rolling through a phase of electronic meditation. And it was in this phase that I stumbled across some aspects of myself eternally lodged in stotter trances fuelled by jazz woodbines and a passion for new ways of thinking. So it is maybe my passion for both new ways of thinking and for electronic meditation which could allow me to waffle on like this for hours. I mean, if you could handle Dark Side Of The Moog CD's 1 to 9 by Klaus Svhulze & Peter Namlook over a matter of days, and then massive doses of Haripasad Chaurasia then I'm sure the album Space Tourist would make you think that all spaces, inner and outer, have most definitely been subscribed too already, before even listening to it, and maybe you would think upon listening to it that it is not as in depth as you would have hoped for. But in all you may also think that what really matters is the fact that there are people out there who are trying, and succeeding, to construct something that does not just sound like one man and a computer.

Enter the third release from Graffiti 61, created and brainstormed by Dominic Massaro. And welcome the fact that sometimes it could be spontaneous, as is the case with this style of music, or from sounds, ideas, or whatever is stumbled across whilst searching somewhere else. And this is the feel that I like from Graffiti 61, and it is not meant to be taken in a bad way, because this is a compliment to the music. Experimentation happens like that, as any true musician who has passed through the acid test and rested course on the space quest, will tell you.

Just as a criteria that I have, I like lengthy meditation sections rather than the 3 to 5 minute pieces. So that is my only criticism, as I have probably said before, on other bands and artists reviews. But that is just me, and I know that others are the same as me in my thinking and would agree with me. So the ambient synths flutter a journey, but saying this, most of the 12 tracks do seem to last longer than they actually do. Strange…

If textures of sound are what you like, and thankfully, and like me, you dislike pisspot drum machines spoiling them, Grafitti 61 should have a place on your CD stand. And if you are wanting to delve into electronic soundscapes for the first time dabble out of curiousity, but also remember that it all depends on mood. And sometimes synthy based music sounds boring, and drawn out, which I must say some parts of this does. But this is why one long track would not because there are many sections in the whole rather than silence in between tracks. However putting that aside Space Tourist sounds earthy, and it is pure experimentation and manipulation of sound. And I could mention a Saturnia sort of feel but without the sitar and tabla, and also a liken to stuff from the Black Note Music label.

It is always hard to describe sounds and feelings, but the good thing is Space Tourist goes through phases in which sounds appear and disappear and reappear without injustice. And as the album progresses it goes further into feeling, energy, meditation, hypnosis, or whatever comes to light. It is a very mellow CD, and hypnotic is a definite slant that I would say that it has. So it is worthy of a listen, though some will find it dull, as some of my friends do with electronic music. But at least you know what it is and for more info you should read my reviews of the other 2 Grafitti 61 CD's (see AI #24 & #29). And I will leave on the note that it is a headphone album, and it is a mood music, and it is a pleasant one, with minimal disturbance in the patterns of your thoughts, always on an even keel, keeping the structure similar, but of different texture, always ambient and atmospheric, and always smooth and direct. Production is good, sounds are fine, and the tour of space is yours to choose. Which space will it be? I hope its inner because outer space is a bit chilly and dark and full of floating bits of metal shit that governments waste billions of their currency on. Bonny pictures and all that banter, but have they not read Easy Journeys to Other Planets for crying out loud????????

For more information you can visit the Graffiti61 web site at:
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Reviewed by Albert Pollard

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