Herbstlaub is fast becoming the signature sound for lush, textured ambient electronica. After his album, ‘Streets Aren’t For Dreaming Youth‘, we’ve been patiently awaiting more, and whilst Herbstlaub’s Places Series release isn’t far off what we would expect, Jens’ production takes you into a new, unchartered aural territory.
There’s a faded glory in abandonment. Where some see a shell or a sad skeleton of a rich past, others draw on nostalgia or a resilient defiance of purpose and history. Often, it’s an admission, a reminder of ill-fated failure that’s either patiently waiting to be erased or restored by human hands or battling the decay of time and the elements. And where these structures are allowed to stand tall, inspiration soon follows.
Sitting in the flora and fauna around abandoned, NATO-owned Oostmalle Airport close to his village, Jens Vydt found a quiet beauty and an even quieter unsettlement in these government-protected surroundings.
“The place is an abandoned airport very near to Westmalle, the village where I was raised,” he explains. “It’s now property of NATO and in case of emergency it can be used. When I was in my youth I used to go there a lot to just sit there in the nature and fields. I recently went back a few times with my laptop and there this song arose.”
What arose is the slow, shimmering progression of ‘Oostmalle Airport’. Diligently building beyond the twinkling melody, the abandoned airport’s menace ghosts in the background, casting a grave presence over the tranquillity. As the sun goes down, and the shadows languidly stretch, serendipity of nature, ‘Oostmalle Airport’ contrasts the memories of what once was with the threat of what might be. Words by Reef Younis.