Every now and again I get the heads up on a new release from Daniel Crossley at Fluid Audio. So far the content from this label has been assured and confident and of consistently high quality. The latest release ‘Acoustic Tales’ from Field Rotation continues that trend (and possibly expands upon it) with eleven tracks of a distinctly cinematic scope.
It is ironic that I should be writing this review while the country is locked tight under a blanket of snow and freezing conditions because Christopher Berg’s latest compositions have a distinct air of winter stamped through them. With a restrained approach Berg often creates subtle backdrops of sound which he embellishes with varying melodic interludes. Its an approach that serves him well with emotive and evocative results.
There are many that times when Fluid Audio’s output would be perhaps shoehorned into the downtempo genre but in this instance, that wouldn’t be right. Some of the pieces here absolutely ache with a sadness of the classical and while downtempo material will often slow the blood and bring the world to a halt it rarely unfurls what I would call a genuine emotive response. This collection seems to owe more to the world of cinematic soundtracks. The lush meticulously recorded strings illicit a sense of scale and the grandiose before allowing other instrumentation to find its way to the foreground and allow some intimacy with the listener. There are melodies at play here that would find home in the darkest romance and yet at the same time you find shards of obscure science fiction or perhaps a taut thriller. Its such a multi faceted piece.
Usually when I’m reviewing material I’ll sit and have a dedicated listening session where I’ll take notes however in this instance I used it as something of a soundtrack to my early evening. Walking through the centre of Sheffield on my way home, this collection just seemed so appropriate, with its gentle swells and the discrete busyness of the electronics within, the album almost seemed to pre empt my journey or at least guide it in some strange way.
As is always the case with Fluid Audio releases the music is only half the story, never ones to undervalue the visual aesthetic of a release I have been privy to the accompanying pieces which will accompany this album. The imagery makes up a twenty page booklet which reinforces the duality of the album’s nature with black & whites of nature and industry (courtesy of Antonymes).
In conclusion this is a true high watermark for Fluid Audio as a label and an absolute recommend to you as a listener. The physical run of this album will consist of 200 copies only. The release will be mid December. You can find out more here