Utrecht, Netherlands

Below 50 Degrees South


Behind the Music

Living in the safety of Northern Europe, the hostility and ruthlessness of the world of The Outlaw Ocean felt so far removed from us. We had no knowledge of the stories Ian unveiled through his reporting, like that of the stowaways in the chapter “Jail Without Bars.” It really made us think about the worth of human life. We knew that we had to help spread awareness of these injustices by participating in Ian’s incredible project and weaving narratives of our own through song.

When producing our tracks, we tried to mimic that same hostility and despondency that resonated with us while reading the book. While writing, we made a parallel between the sea and space. Both the ocean and space are vast to the point it can be overwhelming — constantly surrounded by massive forces of nature that you have little control over. We wanted to capture the melancholy and emptiness that inspired us.

About Fouk

For Daniel Leseman and Hans Peeman, successful producers on their own merits and friends since childhood, a collaboration was inevitable. Their house sound infused with disco and funk has been proven to be infectious.

Fouk’s name was established firmly to a broad and quickly growing audience after the infamous house duo, Detroit Swindle, signed them to their Heist imprint and released the booming, “Kill Frenzy EP.” The result was requests for DJ sets across Europe, the Americas and Australia with personal highlights including Glastonbury Festival, LoveBox, Concrete Paris, Output New York, Club Space Miami, Claire and De Marktkantine, both in Amsterdam.

Their first vinyl release on their own, Outplay Records, as Fouk, was met with great enthusiasm. The brilliant reactions to the tracks, “Stuff Your Dad Liked” and “Cat Lady,” propelled Fouk and Outplay into the scene as the “one to watch.” Since then, they've released EPs on labels such as, Room With A View, The House of Disco and Razor-n-Tape. They have also made a string of strong remixes for the likes of Kraak & Smaak, Groove Armada, The Brand New Heavies, Luke Million, Joey Negro and Mayer Hawthorne.

After their, “With Lasers EP,” on Heist in 2017, and two EPs on Outplay Records, they returned again on Heist in 2019 with, “Truffles EP,” and on The House of Disco with, “Release The Kraken EP,” featuring Thumpasaurus. The refreshed sound has been well received and marked a new impulse of creativity in their music, which is also reflected in their DJ sets.

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