Tim Engelhardt

Cologne, Germany

Between The Lines


Behind the Music

There were a number of chapters in The Outlaw Ocean that moved me and inspired me as I wrote my songs. One of the parts that affected me the most was the “Sea Slavery” chapter that explored the story of Lang Long — a man tricked into human trafficking who was found shackled by a long chain on the deck of a Thai fishing boat. What shocked me the most about this chapter was how nobody — not even the Thai government or officials — seemed to care about Lang Long’s tale until it was released to the public. In the song “Shackled,” I wanted to capture the unease and uncertainty that Lang Long felt while sitting at the front of that boat. 

Branching off from “Shackled,” I tried to draw lines to other chapters of The Outlaw Ocean. One track, “Between The Lines” works on a base of deep tones and sounds of the sea. I also wanted to convey a bit of light in the depth of darkness to represent the hope and support many women are getting from Rebecca Gompertz in “Adelaide’s Voyage.” “Ignorance is Key” is reflective of what I believe to be the primary ingredient of Japan’s policy on whaling in “Hunting Hunters,” which had a profound impact on me. Throughout the song, there are sparks of hope in the form of piano melodies that always get cut off by frenetic drum rhythms, representing the inner battle that most experience while out on the sea. 

Tim Engelhardt
About Tim Engelhardt

As one of Cologne’s youngest and brightest electronic music stars, Tim Engelhardt started his path to connoisseurship early on. Tim has demonstrated that he has an independent creative mind since the time he tried to rewrite the piano pieces he had to practice when he was eight. When Tim later discovered techno luminary Robert Babicz, synthesisers and bass drums suddenly moved into focus. A brilliant producer and mastering engineer with a keen sense for sonic detail, Babicz became the perfect role model for young Tim.

Tim released his first record when he was 14. His combination of profound musical knowledge with intuitive playfulness, organic fluidity and atmospheric dexterity made for a winning recipe. Consequently, Tim grew his portfolio with outings on labels such as Traum Schallplatten, WIR, Babiczstyle, Parquet Recordings, Manual Music and Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings and others over the span of only four years. 

Preparations for tours to the U.S., Asia and India are underway. Tim continues to draw inspiration for his personal brand of melodic house and techno from childhood memories of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" playing in his dad's car, walks in nature, or by simply mining his modular synth for happy accidents. Rather than drooling over hardware, though, Tim celebrates art with a distinct personality that carries a piece of its creator inside. Tim's music sounds nothing like your run-of-the-mill floor chow, but turns heads with a cohesive musical vision that shines in the club and at home.

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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