Locked Groove

Berlin, Germany

Ocean of the Forgotten


Behind the Music

It’s difficult to pinpoint just one chapter of The Outlaw Ocean that impacted me most, but I’d have to say the most mind-boggling was David George Mndolwa’s story of stowing away in “Jail Without Bars.” The degradation of human life in the decision to place Mndolwa and his friend on a raft after their discovery simply because it was cheaper shocked me, but it shocked me even more to read Mndolwa tell Ian he would do it all over again for a shot at a better life elsewhere.

I have a platform as an artist and, as such, I think it’s my civic duty to use that platform for the better. It’s not always clear cut and easy to use your art for positive change in the world, but the least we can do is to take advantage of opportunities we encounter to speak truth to power through our music and alert our fanbase to issues like those Ian reports on in The Outlaw Ocean. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. 

I approached The Outlaw Ocean Music Project as if I was creating a mini-album from the perspective of a seafarer. Mirroring my idyllic outlook of the ocean when I first became involved with the project, the album starts off in a romanticized way with the longing of a seaman wanting to return to the open water. Then it slowly becomes darker and darker, reflecting how my perceptions changed as I continued reading.

Locked Groove
About Locked Groove

The ever-shifting landscape of techno and house has been a fertile ground for the Belgian-born & Berlin-based Locked Groove.

Both his productions and DJ sets share the effortless luster of classic Chicago anthems and the eerie qualities of raw industrial jams. This crossover complexion showcases a bold vision that separates him from the tropes with an uncompromising influence.

It comes as no surprise that none other than Scuba picked up on Locked Groove’s sound in 2012. His debut and follow-ups on Hotflush were all uniformly lauded. Other releases on Life and Death, Permanent Vacation, Afterlife, his eponymous label Locked Groove records and Speicher were met with just as much critical acclaim.

In 2019 Locked Groove finally released his long awaited debut album on Hotflush.

“Sunset Service” is the amalgamation of a diverse and closely studied musical past, incorporating influences that are dear to the artist, whilst retaining a focus on the singularity of his own unique aesthetic.

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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