Berlin, Germany



Behind the Music

Since we first heard about The Outlaw Ocean, we felt a strong connection to the cutting-edge reporting and the detailed stories of each character. Upon hearing there was also a big collaborative music project connected with the book, our interest in Ian’s work and efforts were heightened. We knew we wanted to play a part in this creative push to bring attention to the lawlessness happening at sea, and felt we could bring a positive balance to the terrifying chaos many are blind to. 

Having grown up during the last decade of the former Communist-era German Democratic Republic —  living in places with paper thin walls you could hear anything and everything through — we understand living a life with little hope or humor. Only music helped us to find the silver linings, a sentiment we hope to capture in our tracks for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. We called our album “Trockendock,” which is the German word for “dry dock” — a maritime innovation used for construction, maintenance and the repair of ships, boats and other vessels, and can be interpreted as a title however a listener decides.


Sebastian and Daniel – who mainly write, record and perform collectively under the alias CEEYS – grew up in East Berlin during the final decade of the Communist-era German Democratic Republic, “in a state where the only freedom for us was to find our niche by being creative.” For them crossing boundaries is nothing new. Their experimental but accessible minimalism – located in a halcyon twilight zone between the avant-garde and pop – incorporates elements of jazz, ambient and classical chamber music, epitomized by, among other releases, their album trilogy: “CONCRETE FIELDS” (2017), “WÆNDE” (2018) and “HIDDENSEE” (2019). 

Collaboration has become an important element of their musical approach, and was ultimately manifested in their “THESIS 17” EP alongside CONSTANT PRESENCE, the new collaborative project between Peter Broderick and Daniel O'Sullivan, on Thesis Project. A limited edition, bespoke laser cut 10" was released in early 2020. 2017 also saw Brueder Selke establish Q3AMBIENTFEST, named after the so-called ‘Querwandbau’ – a.k.a. Q3A (or, in English, 'cross-wall construction') – which was a three- to five-storey prefabricated building constructed in the GDR during the 1950s and 1960s. This annual event has seen Brothers Selke invite like-minded artists, renowned acts and friends to play, including Anne Müller, Andrea Belfi, Midori Hirano, Masayoshi Fujita, Martyn Heyne, Poppy Ackroyd and more. They've also launched FLIMMERKONZERTE, a series of film concerts at Potsdam's Film Museum, and the co-curated KOSMOSKONZERTE, a succession of house concerts at Potsdam's Rechenzentrum.

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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