Kampala, Uganda & Leeds, UK

Slime Line


Behind the Music

Music has such a visceral effect on human emotions that it makes for a brilliant tool for activism, especially when used to give more depth and weight to a pre-existing body of work like The Outlaw Ocean. I personally often use music as a cathartic tool to express my darkest and most aggressive feelings, which is something I tried to channel while crafting my tracks. I primarily worked in a dissociative state — simply searching for sounds and composing a song based around what I heard.

I wanted to compose songs made purely with sounds from Ian’s journeys. Many of the clips featured audio that felt very claustrophobic and dark, which aligned perfectly with the emotions I typically capture in my work. I would pinpoint tones that intrigued me and begin layering them on top of each other, hearing little melodies in the segments of looped audio that I could then pick out and exaggerate. What was new and interesting for me was including audio samples that came from a distinct and known source. This element helped to create one of the most distinctive and emotionally-rich pieces of the EP.

The ocean is an uncharted world many know very little about. Documenting these crimes and immoral acts like Ian does through The Outlaw Ocean is important. People need to understand these issues, what their implications are and the exact role we play in it all.

About pq

pq is best known as the guy launching military grade synth bombs with Nihiloxica, the Kampala-based afro-electro fusion band taking over the world of live percussive techno. “Kaloli,” the group’s debut LP, was released on Crammed Discs to huge critical acclaim, and was described as a “watershed release for percussion music” by The Quietus, immediately hitting their albums of the year list. He has also remixed for Nyege Nyege Tapes, and produced two EP’s of “grimy rap killers” with Kampala MC Ecko Bazz on Hakuna Kulala.

When he isn’t collaborating out in Kampala with the Nyege Nyege crew, the nomadic producer/synthesist co-runs Spooky Shit with Spooky-J and Ekhe — a digital self-release label demonstrating the trio's unique and forward-thinking approach to club music, with plays from discerning DJ’s like Ben UFO, Minor Science, Kampire and Slikback. Collaboration is fundamental to pq’s approach —  you could even call him a team player. But when he finds himself on his own, he tends to explore the extremes of production, DJing and sound design. Visceral, intense sounds and rhythms pervade his body music, while droning, synthetic textures evolve through his more ambient works.

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