Slusnik Luna with Petri Alanko

Helsinki, Finland



Behind the Music

It was surprisingly easy for us to create our songs with the world of The Outlaw Ocean already documented in Ian’s book, as well as the extensive collection of videos and sounds. This made it seamless to generate even more artful storytelling to complement what had already been created. One of the most interesting aspects of this project for us was getting to listen and watch all the clips taken by Ian while reporting. We immediately started picking out certain sounds we wanted to use. In some cases, we let the library of audio sweep us away as far as we could possibly float in the creative process. Although they needed some cleaning up, the raw and uncut nature of these samples added another layer of character to the songs. They also helped us keep the overall ideas of The Outlaw Ocean at the forefront of our minds. With the clips and our own music compositions, the songs had a life of their own. 

Although each individual piece by itself is quite dramatic, together they form an arc within the EP. From the first track to the last, it’s a survival story — as so many stories within the pages of The Outlaw Ocean are. This kind of journalism is so vital to supporting facts that shouldn’t be ignored. Problems out of reach from the rest of the world disappear, and journalism is a way of ensuring these topics don’t get drowned out in the noise.

Slusnik Luna with Petri Alanko
About Slusnik Luna with Petri Alanko

Slusnik Luna was an offspring of a game music project by Niko Nyman and Nicklas Renqvist in 1994. With their energetic, analog synth-laden performances, they became a regular act in the Helsinki, Finland club night, Unity. They started working closely with the resident DJ Orkidea, and produced his classic trance track “Unity.”

Their greater success came in 2001, when Slusnik Luna’s Sun caught the attention of BBC's Pete Tong, taking the track to the U.K. Top 40 and selling over a million copies on compilations all over the world. In 2004 Slusnik Luna released the album “Aamukaste 5AM,” unexpectedly in ambient style.

After a few silent years Slusnik Luna joined forces with Petri Alanko, and a trance reinterpretation of The KLF's “Last Train to Trancentral” was released. The remix instantly hit the download charts with its crazy machine-gun bassline and then-never-heard-before sound design.

While Niko and Nicklas created music as an on-and-off hobby, Petri had worked in classical and pop music for years and was pursuing a career in soundtrack composing. His game soundtracks have been nominated for BAFTA awards, and the "Control" game score won the highly acclaimed DICE award in 2020. Under the name Lowland, his Classical Trancelations project has released three albums and has sold out the Helsinki Music House twice. In 2018 the production was upgraded for the 9000-seat Hartwall arena, with 130 musicians on stage. The resulting concert video is the most watched event ever in Finnish Broadcast Company's (Yle) streaming service.

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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