Regensburg, Germany

Next Chapter


Behind the Music

I was especially impressed by the fact that there are so many interesting, but also frightening, stories to tell about events occuring on the world's oceans, many of which you may never have heard about without projects such as this one. I was struck by this watery realm, where what is considered a ‘normal lifestyle’ is so drastically different from the way many of us usually live. At sea, crime defines life and countless people are changed by these pervasive illegal activities. It is difficult to imagine living this way.

From time to time, you read about issues like piracy in Somalia in the press, but the deep insights Ian Urbina provides allows readers and listeners to dive into the stories from a uniquely personal point of view. The challenge was to transform the emotions that the stories evoke into the right sound image. The recordings from the project’s sound archive affected me and often helped me create a basic framework for a track, or added a new dimension to an existing piece of music.

I think the genre of instrumental music was a perfect fit, appealing to the global audience in the lofi scene, where national borders are almost non-existent. Overall, the range of feelings Ian described in each story inspired me the most. I was particularly impacted by the chapter about the Somali 7. As far as actual music production, however, I listened to all the sound recordings and tapped into them hoping to enhance a distinct sound aesthetic. 

About Schmiddunsk

Schmiddunsk likes to create lofi with jazzy vibes and experimental boombap beats! He has global reach, having collaborated with artists and labels like Dualizm, Grmmr.126, Flingu, LeProdude, LBL & Bipeula, RLLBTS, Bobby Dreamz BIG, Ian Urbina, Goji Island, urbanundergrounds, Besser Samstag, Golden Ticket Tapes, Iruka Records, Birdhouse by Ben Beal, and Das Label mit dem Hund.

Winner of the 2021 Scripps Howard Award for Excellence in Innovation in Journalism

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