This new disc from empreintes DIGITALes compiles four pieces by Louis Dufort, a Montréal-based electroacoustic wizard, composed between 1996 and 2000. Dufort manifests his passion for electronic music, cinema, painting and contemporary dance in his electroacoustic works. His own description of his music emphasises the narrative qualities in his work: “Object, body, colour and sound anecdote give rise to plays of perception that envelope the listener. Sound material is used in this way to draw forth musical outlines in which poetry and the narrative representation of sound serve as markers in the development of the work.” It is therefore only fitting that his work carries a particularly “theatrical” component, suggesting all the movement of a story, but enacted solely through the use of abstract sound. Each of these compositions presents an intense sound environment, buzzing with activity and motion. The themes are of paradoxes (“continuous discontinuity” in track 1), opposites (“elasticity/contraction” in track 4), and self reflexive exercises (“the formal expression of form” in track 3). All manner of sounds are used in arrangements that forever keep you on the edge of your seat. You never have time to relax your perception, as each of these compositions demands your undivided attention. Although there is an immense host of extremely fascinating sound constructions (Dufort’s concrete sounds all share a certain clarity that fits perfectly in my ears), I occasionally found the arrangements to be a little too busy and chaotic for my liking. Still, these recordings have piqued my interest to see what Dufort’s theatre pieces are like; since he often composes for the Marie Chouinard contemporary dance company, it would be interesting to see how his music, itself so very theatrical and expressive, can work together with a more physical stage presence.