Michael Hobdell Director of Photography

For a few days each year, the Amsterdamse Bos is flooded with electronic music when it hosts Dekmantel and other festivals. BOS explores the idea that over the years the flora and fauna have absorbed the noise and energy they’ve been exposed to, the rhythms of the forest becoming intertwined with the sounds of the various festivals. Just as photosynthesis converts sunlight into energy that allows them to grow, the synthesisers and drum patterns have become part of the the trees, plants, birds and insects. A walk through the Bos becomes an audio visual trip that blends festival memories with new, organic sounds seemingly coming from the forest itself.

The project was inspired by returning to the site of Dekmantel festival on a ‘normal’ day when there’s no event taking place. The area feels as if it is not just the location of the festival, but an integral part; it is hard to imagine one without the other. With the festival’s fences, stages and other structures gone, the grass and the trees feel familiar but different at the same time. The sound of electronic music is absent, in its place is the sound of the forest. Standing in certain spots and recalling performances that have taken place is a surreal experience. The film was shot the same week that the 2020 edition of Dekmantel would’ve taken place, had it not been postponed due to the pandemic. The raw footage was taken as inspiration by Oceanic, who composed the track ‘Just As Before’ to fit organically with the visuals, which were then edited together into the final piece. As the world slowly begins to open up and excitement for festivals tentatively grows, the natural world and the electronic prepare to meet once again.

Directed and edited by Tom Biddulph
Cinematography by Michael Hobdell
Original composition 'Just As Before' by Oceanic
Colour grade by Luke Osborne
Special thanks to Sören Schmidt and Alice Lewis