Portland, USA

Saline Studies


Behind the Music

When I agreed to participate in this music project a year ago, I don’t think I ever fully understood its depth and magnitude. I had never expected to be approached for a project such as this and, as a fan of non-fiction and documentaries, I felt like the overall idea was right up my alley. I felt inspired as soon as I began consuming Ian’s work and I quickly ordered a copy of his book. I’m still working my way through it, trying to soak up everything Ian has to share. 

Reading the book as I combed through Ian’s sound samples and video footage was the perfect creative compliment. I would hear samples, and could envision and understand exactly what was happening. It made the musical sampling process so much more meaningful. This is a powerful tactic of storytelling that beautifully merges two entirely different worlds of industry in an incredibly impactful way. I never would have known about this untamed world out on international waters had I not been part of The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, and I hope other listeners will be inclined to dive as deep as I have into this world after hearing my releases.

About Thriftworks

Every single morning, Jake Atlas boils a mix of garlic, menthol and delusions of grandeur. He takes a moment to meditate, sips slowly and predicts the future. Born in Arizona, raised in Pennsylvania, and cutting teeth in the Bay Area of California before a recent move to Oregon, Jake Atlas — better known by his underground and underpaid alias ‘Thriftworks’ is a truly once in a lifetime musician. Painfully unique, he lives somewhere near the intersection of technical ability and unexplored samplecraft. 

A purveyor and recorder of naturally found sound and a constant seeker of fatherhood’s lessons, Jake himself defies a simple description. A self-proclaimed ornithologist and pteranodon enthusiast, he is an avid outdoorsman, a hot-blooded ginger and a blessed pink salamander person, whose sole refuge is to cool his skin in icy rivers. The founder of the Berkeley Bone Roasters and a lover of chess, he serves up minimalistic low-end psychosis and “I can’t dance but I can’t sit still” productions. His energetic live performances have ensured that he is a staple act within the festival circuit around the world. Thriftworks is always recognizable by his incomparable aesthetic, and humorous nod to the absurd. Listen toGutter Cookies” or “Cooter Shooter,” and send us a postcard from the new universe.

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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