Birmingham, England



Behind the Music

Music is like an unwritten language. We can engage with sound intuitively, and it can make us feel something or stir an emotion. Specifically in the context of this project, the music provides an opportunity to add an emotional and sensory depth to Ian’s book. I wasn’t previously aware of the scale of problems happening at sea. The Outlaw Ocean opened my eyes to it, and so having the opportunity to compose music that adds even more weight to this book was something that really compelled me to get involved.

When picking samples from the extensive audio library to include in my songs, I handpicked sounds that accentuate the feeling or sentiments of the relevant stories or sections in the book. I named my EP as well as my lead track “Boundless,” meant to be an allusion to the sheer expanse of the ocean as well as the overwhelming nature of trying to police it. I wanted to capture a sonic experience that could make a listener’s hairs stand on end — something that encapsulated how alien the ocean can sometimes feel.

About ENiGMA Dubz

Spanning dubstep, future bass, future garage and drum and bass, James Vine, aka ENiGMA Dubz, has been the worst-kept secret in the global bass music scene for more than a decade.

Producing garage and house from his Birmingham (UK) bedroom in his late teens under the name DJ V, his 2008 bootleg of Faithless’ “We Come One” was Kissy Sell Out’s track of the month on BBC Radio 1.

Later that year, after James experienced the cream of UK underground dubstep at SubDub’s legendary Exodus night in Leeds, including Skream, Plastician & Digital Mystiks (Mala & Coki): ENiGMA Dubz was born.

Fast forward to 2010 and “The Darnce” EP released on LU10 Records received serious heat, leading to Laidback Luke blasting the title track at EDC’s mainstage that summer.

Albums on LU10 followed - with 2011’s “Varationz” and 2012’s “Genesis” and landmark garage EP, “Hard To Smile” on Four40 Records. LU10 dissolved in 2014, taking the releases off all platforms, although YouTube and Soundcloud channels still featured the material - where the tracks racked up millions of plays.

Picked by heroes Chase & Status for a studio masterclass in 2014, James released 2015 albums “The Journey So Far, Pt 1” and “The Journey So Far, Pt 2” on his own From The Vine label.

After making a resurgence in 2019, and now under new management, his 2020 Geater Dubz collaboration with fellow Brummie, Ed Geater, saw “Part of You (ENiGMA Dubz Remix)” curated by Spotify in its Creamy playlist.

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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