Xijaro & Pitch

Amstelveen, Netherlands & Kortenberg, Belgium

No Longer a Secret


Behind the Music

“Jail Without Bars” is a literary emotional rollercoaster. It is astonishing how Mndolwa and Kobelo heroically survived after being thrown off the ship they were stowed away on and left to die in the ocean with a raft that could barely float. That Mndolwa then chose to spend the following year stowed away multiple times is flabbergasting. What shocks us the most about this story, however, is the far reaching, yet often unseen and unheard, consequences that our policies on land have at sea.

David Mndolwa and Jocktan Kobelo were detained when they reached shore, while their raft builders walked free. Kobelo died during detention. The unwillingness of authorities to do something about the situation is astounding. This idea that the ocean is a vacuum, devoid of justice, runs throughout the book and is a big inspiration for our work.

We want our music to show the suffering and deep sadness of those who seem to be imprisoned by the sea. But we also want to show the courage and heroic bravery that these people need in order to survive on the outlaw ocean, where the lines between good and bad, captured and captor, are blurred.

As a dance/trance music duo, we hope that the impact of our music is twofold. On one hand, we’d like to expose people to the emotional side of trance music that some of our audience may not have heard before. We want to show that electronic dance music, normally played at raves and parties, can be filled with deep emotions that have a backstory. On the other hand, we’d like to take the story back to the trance scene. 

By spreading an important message through our music, we hope to make our own modest contribution to shedding light on this unseen part of our humanity and the planet. Most of all, though, we hope our music can help these stories come alive, regardless of whether it is played on a small phone speaker or a club sound system—whether the listener has read the book or not.

Xijaro & Pitch
About Xijaro & Pitch

XiJaro & Pitch is the producer/DJ duo consisting of Xander van Dommelen and Anthony Reyers. When Anthony, a blind Belgian DJ and trance music enthusiast, and Xander, a Dutch aspiring trance producer, decided to join forces, they set out to take their adventures in music to the next level.

Their studio work has so far found its way onto labels like Subculture, Rielism, Grotesque, AVA White and Abora Recordings, garnering support from big names such as Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, John O'Callaghan, Aly & Fila, Ferry Corsten, Andrew Rayel and RAM.

They have also created the monthly podcast/radio show “Open Minds,” in which they deliver eclectic selections of their favorite dance music releases, ranging from deep house, progressive and bigroom to tech, uplifting trance and drum and bass.

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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