Steve Rachmad

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Beauty and the Sea


Behind the Music

Reading The Outlaw Ocean gave me chills, and each story featured was shocking and touched my heart in a different way. While Ian is the one to bring these horrors to light, it feels like I can also help raise awareness by communicating some of the pain and disbelief as well as hope experienced by those in the story. I feel grateful to Ian for his insightful reporting and for asking me to be part of his one-of-a-kind music project.

Steve Rachmad
About Steve Rachmad

Steve Rachmad has been part of the top echelon of global electronic music for three decades now. His unmistakably personal, stripped down variation of techno music has made him a solid favorite with both his peers and his loyal international following. 

Not susceptible to the ebb and flow of trends and hypes, Rachmad always stuck to his own musical compass and does so today. This free-spirited curiosity has allowed him to be successful in producing house, electro, ambient, R‘n’B, mainstream and now even classical music. His performances breathe a profound love for an encyclopedic knowledge of everything 80’s, well crafted, and machine based, with the occasional disco set by popular demand. 

There are two simple facts that reveal Steve’s contribution to his art form. First, every new generation of young artists on the rise plays and praises music from Steve’s seemingly endless discography. This may be the biggest compliment possible in an environment where the creative challenge is to successfully walk the paper-thin line between timeless quality and innovation. On top of that Steve belongs to an exclusive group of artists who are all regulars on the relevant stages of their global scene and have been throughout their careers (for instance: Berlin’s Berghain, London’s Fabric, Detroit’s Movement festival, Amsterdam’s Dekmantel Festival). 

Off tour, Rachmad mostly spends his time in the studio. Having come of age in the 80’s and early 90’s, he’s never been able to shake his hunger for new tools and toys. So it makes sense when he describes the place as: “Every- thing I ever dreamt of having.” This is where he conducts his extensive ensemble of beloved musical devices; from vintage analogue synthesizers and drum machines, to the analogue mixing desk and more modern gear. The objective is the same with each new project or experiment: creating slow-cooked, carefully composed music with the Rachmad signature: rich, pure, and effectively minimalistic.

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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