Landshut, Germany

Shades of Blue


Behind the Music

I was moved by many of the characters in The Outlaw Ocean, but as I read the one that struck me the most was Ian himself. I saw Ian not just as the mouthpiece for these stories but also the adventurous observer whose thoughts and musings were present in every chapter. The efforts Ian went through to write this book, and make it not only informative but thrilling and terrifying, are present and clear on every page. His connection to the ocean manifests itself through the words on the page, giving off a certain sense of presence throughout the book no matter what chapter, which left a feeling inside me I haven’t experienced since I read “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Communication takes place on so many levels: words, music, pictures, movies, illustrations. Each medium is evocative in its own way, and combining them can make it even more so. With my album, I wanted to capture the beauty and terrifying infinitum of the ocean as well as the constant threats it faces and presents to those who travel it. Everyone who reads The Outlaw Ocean and listens to the project will gain a better understanding of what’s happening out in the unknown. This project adds depth and dimension to our perception of the sea as a simple blue surface. As Ian reveals, it is so much more.

About Compilerbau

Compilerbau was born on Feb. 5, 1983 and grew up in Munich. When he was a kid, he had two years of piano lessons. At 12, his uncle, who played in a band, gave him an old drum machine and a synthesizer. With time, he learned to make his own sounds and songs. He also got interested in computers and programming, which later led him to work as a software developer for several years. At that time, he had a band called The Bavarian Electro Gang, which was synthetic beats with Bavarian vocals. 

He paused producing music for about five years after that and decided to move to Stuttgart to study Electronic Media at Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart in 2010, which gave him insight into media engineering as well as some artistic aspects like directing and design. He gave special attention to Film technology and finally got his engineering degree in 2013 with his bachelor thesis being about video workflow automation. After finishing his studies in Stuttgart, he moved to the region of Landshut and started producing and releasing music as Compilerbau. He chose that name in 2006 when his own electronic music was still a hobby. Between 2015 and 2017, he worked as a Media Engineer at University of Applied Sciences in Landshut, where he administered their music studio’s technology, made short videos, took photographs and other media things. He also remained a freelancing photographer and web developer until around 2017.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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