Ambient techno, with its roots in early electronic experimentation and later new age and built-for-purpose meditation guidance, reaches further back to the Romantics. At a time when the Enlightenment was enshrining human experience within the rubric of logic, Keats, Turner and Constable placed the human subject within their environment in painting and poetry. Echo Earth, the first full-length proper by Pacific Northwesterner Hunter P. Thompson aka Akasha System since establishing a name with various techno collectives (Neo Violence, Elestial Sound), was seemingly composed if not directly under tree canopies then surely at a studio just down the dirt road. This is to say, the entirety of the LP’s runtime is quite lovely, with numbers like ‘Hawk Country’ and ‘Rain Theme’ invoking whispering tides and warm, welcoming drum circles.
But Thompson’s romanticism is tinged with loss, signposted by the gently receding instrumentals of ‘Sunken Relics’ and ‘Warped Shadow’. Sonically, Echo Earth could’ve just as easily been made in 1994 — a facet that can’t necessarily be considered a feat considering the more static, less innovative end of the ambient techno spectrum. What’s the use in re-hashing Aphex Twin when Richard D. James outdid his early sound long ago? Nevertheless, what this LP does instead is invite a thematic fixation altogether more prescient to today’s conundrum. As artists and creators (and indeed writers), how do we best re-navigate our relationship with nature, when the 20th and 21st centuries have painfully demonstrated that we are not apart, but a part of our own environment?
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.