Dominique Vaccaro is a sound artist from Bologna, Italy. For his eighteen minute piece "Bastille," he claims to incorporate tapes, vocals, and "detonations." Huh. Tapes and vocals are certainly at use in this piece, but detonations? Well, it does SOUND like explosions. Maybe he blew stuff up and taped it. . . The world may never know. All kidding aside, these sounds (and many others) do ultimately enhance the piece. With his interesting sonic palette Vaccaro does create an altogether strong work.
While "Bastille" consists only of one long track, the entire affair seems to be broken into three separate movements. In the first section, we get what sounds like manipulated sounds of cars passing on a highway, eerie keyboard tones, industrial pops and clangs, and yes, some explosion sounds. The entire section builds up to a piercing electronic squeal, before dropping out entirely following yet another detonation. For the second part, Vaccaro opens with the chipmunk sounds of rewinding tape then moves back and forth between that and industrial and radio noises. This section ends with a heavy dose of tape noise and some distorted bomb noises. In the third and final section, Vaccaro brings in vocals for the first time, with disembodied hums and moans over a background of more blasts, squeals, and tape hiss. Plain and simple, "Bastille" is a great headphone piece worthy of repeated, close listening.
Really, there's a lot more going on than I could ever hope to explain, but hopefully the short version of the events of "Bastille" will be enticing enough to get some people to pick this one up. Overall, "Bastille" is a pretty solid piece. Vaccaro creates some interesting sounds that are worth revisiting and absorbing. Really, by the time it ends, I'm ready to hear more and I just wish he had given us a bit more to digest on this outing. With everything he was able to do on this short release, I am definitely curious to hear what other tricks he has up his sleeve. 7/10 -- Matt Blackall (18 June, 2008)