‘Hope’ is the opening release of new electronic, electroacoustic and ambient label Fluid Audio. A rather pleasing affair it is too with a collection of thirteen tracks from a variety of known commodities (especially if you have followed some of my Ultimae reviews). The album is conceptual in nature with each artist asked to create a piece that to them embodies the concept of positivity and alleviation of strife.

As a collection the material on offer here drift back and forth from what you would classify as more traditional ambient into electroacoustic territory with its found sound association. Melodies drift and disperse and give way to tones and washes, often there is a deepening sense of drama to the pieces and while in many cases they burn slowly there is a relentless nature to them (have a listen to Field Rotation’s Regenezit for example).

In places the pace and intensity are notched up a gear starting with James Murray and his contribution ‘Fingersand’. Agitated snippets of voice float in the background while the foreground is given over to a melancholy rhythmic melody and something of a gentle loping stride of a beat. Elsewhere the collection takes on a greater organic feel with piano led tracks from the likes of Bersarin Quartett, PlayB and a particularly beautiful piece from Ben Beiny.

Other highlights include offerings from Digitonal and Hol Baumann both bringing dry skittish pieces to the collection. There’s almost a sense of agitation to their pieces, as if they were reporting back from a place of unrest or disturbance (which I suppose isn’t a million miles unrelated to the theme of hope).

In conclusion this is a really good start for Fluid Audio, a well rounded mature collection of tracks that work alongside a central theme and while many in this genre proclaim to deliver some form of message in this instance you do get a feel for what they are doing. Overrall highly enjoyable and well recommended. The digipak is out now and it will be followed with a digital release on the 29th June.

If that wasn’t enough it should also be noted that 50% of the profits are donated to Toybox. A charity that provides shelter, aid and support for homeless children in Latin America The release is also carbon neutral so what you have is a worthy release supporting a worthy cause.