I’ve been waiting a long time to get the new string of empreintes DIGITALes CD’s, but it’s been worth the wait. Holy smokes. Arturo Parra is the guitarist on this CD of mixed electroacoustics. This is not the mixed (and oh so!) EA you’ve heard at your local university, this is exciting and fervent music by some big names in the EA scene and some lesser ones all working in collaboration with the guitarist Arturo Parra. The first offering, Stéphane Roy’s La basilique fantôme, is one of the most impressive mixes I’ve ever heard. Perfectly superb. The guitar is never hidden, never outdone by the electronics. Roy and Parra create a wonderful symmetry between the ancient baroque origins of the guitar and contemporary EA. Mauricio Bejarano follows with a quieter but equally strong offering in D’or et de lumière. Parra and Bejerano offer some truly breathtaking and serene moments, which I find is always a shocking in EA. The EA legend, Francis Dhomont follows with Sol Y sombra… L’espace des spectres. Signature Dhomont sounds here which I was a bit worried about, but needn’t have been. Temporally, Dhomont has such control of his material. Dhomont is very aggressive with his sounds. Parra’s not afraid of allowing Dhomont’s music to overpower the guitar, and it’s very effective. In Gilles Gobeil’s Soledad Parra uses a lot of percussive guitar sounds and it’s very enjoyable. Huge, loud sweeping textures, reminiscent of the music if Francisco Lopez are juxtaposed with quiet, minimalist sections. Parra’s collaboration with Robert Normandeau in L’envers du temps, is the one weak track on the disc. There’s something about the sound in his work that I’m not as convinced about. Perhaps it’s the emphasis on tonal centres that I couldn’t get into. The press release states that “style wise, this may not be your usual empreintes DIGITALes fair.” Indeed not, and thank heavens for it. I thought the label was in a bit of a funky rut. I see they are not. A great disc.