Santa Barbara, USA

Waste Away


1Possibility and Power
4Mother Ships
5Waste Away
Behind the Music

As I read The Outlaw Ocean I found myself particularly struck by the chapter “Waste Away” and it’s unsettling deconstruction of the cruise ship industry. I think that I always knew in the back of my mind that this was something that negatively impacted the environment, but it was easier not to think about it. But the image of the cruise industry as a floating gentrification machine spewing waste into the water will forever be seared into my mind, along with many of the other stories in this book. By shedding light on the reality of life on the ocean, Ian forced us to reconcile the choices we make every day and how they perpetuate these horrible systems. This is painful but necessary information that we can’t simply ignore. It’s on us to accept this reality, and actively work to demand better.

I tried to encapsulate the true hopelessness that seemed prevalent among those who have suffered the most from this corruption in my music. Art and music can be a way for people to connect more deeply with an issue or topic they might not otherwise encounter. By incorporating sounds and spoken-word into the music I want to place the listener right in the middle of the material to create a truly immersive sonic experience that also makes people see the reality of what happens on the oceans. 

About kwajbasket

The Kwajbasket project was started by Sam Gould in early 2011 as an exploration of the sonic possibilities of minimal guitar music. Over the course of several years and full-length releases, the sound and aim of the project have been refined. All of the sounds are still recorded using a guitar into a GNX3 Digitech multi-effects processor, a Boss RC-2 loop station, an M-Audio M Track mixer and processing in Ableton Live. The music can be enjoyed as both an active and passive listening experience.

The Journalism

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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