40 Thieves

San Francisco, USA

Three Blips


Behind the Music

Collaborating with an artist with nearly 3,000 miles between you is difficult. Normally the two of us spend up to 30 hours a week together in our San Francisco studio, but for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project we had to rely on phone calls and lots of file transfers between California and Florida. While it was difficult to work through, we were still able to create a piece of work rich in originality, creativity and emotion. We brought in an 11-piece reggae band from Florida, which we mixed with some bedrock drums, to add some dub and reggae sounds to the tracks that help elevate the sound of the album.

For us personally, working on The Outlaw Ocean Music Project revealed to us how little we knew about the various misdeeds and criminal activity happening at sea. The story that especially rattled us was that of David George Mndolwa and his deceased friend, Jocktan Francis Kobelo. We were shocked by the callous disregard of life shown by the captain and crew of the Dona Liberta when they cast Mndolwa and Kobelo adrift in the middle of the ocean on a makeshift raft. We felt a sense of righteous indignation in response and want our listeners to feel the same, along with joy, anticipation and some sense of relief, when they hear our tracks.

40 Thieves
About 40 Thieves

40 Thieves is a San Francisco-based dance music collective, founded in 2007, with Corey Black, Layne Fox and Jay Williams (aka Jaswho?) at the helm. They draw influences from a genre-loose array of dance and electronic music pioneers from the ‘60s through tomorrow’s next set. Is it Future…Classic…House…Acid…Disco…Dub…Balearic…Electronic…Rock? Clearly. The collective has and continues to release a collection’s worth of originals and remixes for labels including Leng, Claremont 56, Rong Music, Permanent Vacation, DFA, K7! and Roam.

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.

Learn More