Dalbavié studied with Boulez, but his shit is more in the Messiaen/ Scelsi/spectralist mold. i actually haven't heard his chamber works but his orchestral music reminds me a lot of Toshio Hosokawa's, which is a good thing. he seems to be a very patient composer; the fat, long-lasting chords don't modulate so much as they erode, filtered through other harmonic/textural/spatial ideas that may either change the complexion of the entire narrative or be nothing more than musical red herrings. and i have't mentioned the "melodies," not because they aren't good but rather because they just seem to emerge from within the other elements, as if to say like duh what other melody would be here? at times i find it subtly complex, and at others deceptively simple, probably a sign that this dude knows what he's doing. truly elegant and intuitive constructions.
it's those damned French again
also, check out this vimeo bit that visually maps out his piece "Color" (his best, i think), so you can literally see what kind of cool shit Dalbavié's doing. don't even need to be able to read music, it's pretty neat-o.