Niklas Paschburg is only 23 years old but he knows how to charm and bewitch with melodies and notes; mesmerising sounds and a cinematic atmosphere, intense crescendi and a pop flavour that moves and fascinates. His debut album ‘Oceanic’is a moving trip full of both melancholy and energy; twelve instrumental songs between neo-classical, ambient and electronic music inspired by nature.
“I live in the countryside but to compose this record I went to the Baltic Sea”, Niklas says. Paschburg spent as much time as possible on the coast throughout the past year, catching the mood, breathing in the sea breeze, listening to the constant flow of the waves and transposing it all into his music.
This period was a defining experience for the young German composer, grown up as a pianist and then attracted by the so-called “neo-classical scene”: “As a teenager I used to listen to Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Hauschka and all that world, and my EP was influenced by those artists. Then I moved in other directions: for my first record I really wanted to make something different, something between piano, classical and electronic music, but also with some pop flavours incorporated - not in harmonies, but in the songs’ structure”.
The result is a soundtrack of a landscape with echoes of Bonobo and Kiasmos, on the electronic side, and with Bon Iver as Paschburg’s main pop reference, co-produced and mixed by Gijs van Klooster (who has previously worked with Joep Beving and Tom Trago).
On ‘Oceanic’, colours and dynamics melt with a nostalgic, sweet, delicate sound and energetic and touching progressions. “There is the calm of the sea, but also its strength”, Paschburg explains. And that’s powerful.
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