In the Press

World Economic Forum

By pairing two types of creators – a journalist and a musician – around content that is urgent, dramatic, and global, the outcome is music that is tied to something much deeper: a collection of at-sea issues that connect us all.

The Los Angeles Times

The only way to better govern this offshore frontier, and to counter the human rights and environmental problems occurring out there, is to shine a continuous light on them. And for that, journalism – with an assist from music — has an urgent role to play.


The Outlaw Ocean Music Project is a series featuring original music from a number of ambient, hip-hop and EDM artists. The series features music from dozens of artists from all over the globe, including Dday One, Chromonicci, Trifonic, who explain the inspirations behind their songs, which contain snippets of field recordings captured during the course of [the] reporting for the project.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Urbina uses music…as a mnemonic device to help him capture a feeling of a certain moment or place…He’ll relisten to that music and the associations and ambient emotions it triggers will transport him back to that experience…It deepens the storytelling experience. Musicians and journalists are both storytellers — one using sound, the other leveraging words…[With] that kindred connection in [The Outlaw Ocean Music Project]…you can feel the mood of uncertainty and foreboding on the boat’s bridge as a ‘way to access and capture the culture of [this] place.' Over 400 musicians from more than 60 countries have translated his stories into music that is heard by millions globally. Several of the musicians told me contributing to the project has widely expanded their audience reach as previously-unknown-to-them bloggers write about their music as well as add it to their streaming playlists.

NPR - All Songs Considered

In addition to writing a book called The Outlaw Ocean, [Ian Urbina] captured sounds in the course of his five-year journey and invited over 200 musicians around the world to use his recordings to inspire music. One of those artists is Jamison Isaak, who records under the name Teen Daze. He used the sounds of the ocean, fishermen chanting while netting fish and more to compose the piece 'Reel In (Sea Slavery),' which we include on this show.

Beat Lover

Good music and independent, critical journalism are two of the things that are most important to me. The Outlaw Ocean Music Project combines both. A great and important idea in turbulent times, where alternative facts seem to be completely legitimate.

National Geographic

Every place marches to its own beat. For musicians on the move, the mantra is: Stop. Listen. And take note...Learn how musicians are using field raise awareness of lawlessness at sea.

The Sound Sniffer

The Outlaw Ocean Music Project has been featured extensively in The Sound Sniffer. Click here for full coverage.

Electric Sound of Joy

...a hefty portion of soft focus, woozy electronica. Love it.

High Clouds

Like a hidden undercurrent beneath the surface of the ocean... much like the sea, [the music] is wonderfully unpredictable. Despite this, there’s an order to it, an inherent cohesion that also rings true of the ocean that inspired the song; whilst the waves cannot be predicted, the tides can and similarly the track has an inherent sense.

Brightest Young Things

[The Outlaw Ocean Music Project] is a curated sonic experience that tells a story in and of itself...At its core, the Outlaw Ocean Music Project is meant to push the boundaries of human creativity while also helping raise awareness about the daunting challenges faced by those whose livelihoods are tied to the sea. The project intends on releasing a new music throughout the year; although it’s unclear when the next drop will be, I’m excited to continue navigating what they’ve already shared. This is a soundtrack I can definitely get behind.

The Friday Dish (The Emerson Collective)

...Movies can have soundtracks; why can't books? Whence The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a soundtrack in collaboration with more than 300 artists...Ian Urbina created a library of audio samples — both ambient and dialogue — from video captured while reporting the book.

The Bay Bridged

Each track is linked to a chapter in the book and speaks to the darker sides of beauty in our world.

Surviving The Golden Age

During the single, 'Adelaide’s Voyage,' you can hear a woman speaking under the string and synth-filled instrumental. The concept gets you to listen but the track’s catchy instrumental hook is what keeps you coming back.

The Nocturnal Times

Petey was able to flip tapes of journalistic research for the book to make them two house tracks: 'Peaceful Protest' ... tells a story about conducting a peaceful protest and the instrumental provides uplifting energy with the piano chords and vocal chops that certainly would inspire someone trying to make their voice heard or to go and make their voice heard. 'Green Peace' has a really nice tech house progression and grooving bassline throughout. Petey went above and beyond in making the instrumental work alongside the recording to tell a dramatic story.

Casablanca Sunset

Bad Tuner rearranges words and offers his own instrumentation on the lofty single. 'Adelaide’s Voyage' is a rhythmic tune with spoken work audio, bright flute sounding synths and an uptempo rhythm. The song showcases Bad Tuner’s talented arrangment abilities and unique production skills.


Wilczynski recently dropped the 'Raider Of The Last Ark' EP, which is based on an extremely exciting concept: For the five tracks Wilczynski was inspired by the book 'The Outlow Ocean' help to turn journalism and literature into music. Wilczynski based his EP on the book chapter of the same name, which deals with 'how banks and insurance companies carry out piracy on a different level.' Exciting thing, check it out.

Beat Lover

In January, several releases were released as part of 'The Outlaw Ocean Music Project', which combines music with independent, critical journalism. Releases of Handbook, chromonicci, Joe Corfield and various others were released. Now the project is going into a second round and whoever was in charge of the musical direction is showing a lot of taste in choosing the producers involved.

Your EDM

The core of this project stems from the fact that musicians and journalists are both storytellers. One uses sounds, the other leverages words. The Outlaw Ocean Music Project is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of such creators. In combining their mediums, these narrators have conveyed emotion and a sense of place in an enthralling new way. The result is incredible. It’s amazing to hear the amount of diversity in all of this music, with each artist contributing their own piece of ingenuity to the powerful stories of ‘The Outlaw Ocean.’

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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