On February 28th, Hamburg-based producer and composer Niklas Paschburg released his second album titled Svalbard via 7K! Records. (If you didn’t know, Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago situated between mainland Norway and the North Pole.) The album was created in one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, the remote islands and their rapidly changing landscapes indicating the more immediate and visible effects of climate change. The resulting compositions were then taken to Brighton, where together with producer and musician Andy Barlow of Lamb (U2, Willie Nelson) they recorded, produced and mixed Svalbard into its final state.
The album is beautiful. Through this album, Niklas is a personal guide of sorts, guiding you through the Svalbard landscape via his musical diorama.
We caught up with Niklas and asked him to pick three albums that have influenced him and his music. His picks are below.
Svalbard is available here: https://niklaspaschburg.bandcamp.com/album/svalbard
Mouse On Mars – Dimensional People
When I start to write a new album I always try not to listen to music from this period. It frees my mind and I find it easier to search for the album sound. During this this time I don’t want to be distracted by other music and only focus on inspiration coming for outside – like nature for example. However when I came back from Svalbard and had already recorded some early demos, I was listening to Mouse On Mars’ Dimensional People a lot on tour. I was incredibly fascinated about the sound collage they created. They managed to mix so many different genres in a completely natural way. That really inspired me to expand my set of instruments and to not be scared about mixing different sounds coming from different genres on my album.
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
A friend of mine posted the album on his socials a couple of days after I came back from Svalbard. Somehow it was the perfect soundtrack for coming home from the arctic journey. I already knew Talk Talk but I never listened to this album. It got me from the first song and I was listening to it for weeks on repeat. The way they build up songs and mix in a lot of ambient sounds inspired me very much. Also how they use the harmonica reminds me of my accordion and got me to new ideas and sounds.
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
Bon Iver is an inspiration for me since he released 22, A Million. I was always a fan of his music but didn’t see it as a direct source of inspiration. That changed with his album 22, A Million. For me it’s still the best produced album I’ve ever heard. It’s rich in so many details, a perfect balance between vintage sounds and modern music production, electric and acoustic instruments. And every unique sound supports the emotion and feeling of the song. It’s a big and complex production but never feels too busy. It feels more like one flow through the whole album, similar to the Mouse On Mars album Dimensional People. That really inspired me for the production of Svalbard.