** (Update 8 December 2021 : I wrote a piece about recent events that have circulated about The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. Read it here.) **
In August, I compiled a host of articles explaining the concept behind Ian Urbina’s ‘Outlaw Ocean Music Project‘. If you missed it, it’s basically a monumentous collaboration between a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and many of the world’s most celebrated electronic music producers. Over three hundred musicians have released either a single, EP or album using audio snippets of Urbina’s field-recordings this year. The sheer scale of the project makes this idea one of the most interesting guerrilla marketing campaigns (raising awareness to a global issue) I’ve ever come across.
This collaboration outlines what is achievable if artists work together towards a common goal, the common goal here is to raise awareness about the environmental threats and criminal activities out in our vast oceans. Ian Urbina’s work is valuable and this project shines a bright light on it. I admire the out-of-the-box thinking from all involved – the quality of music coming out is equally as impressive.
In today’s article, I am going be sharing my favourite six tracks which were released in the last batch on October the 9th.
You can listen to my previous selections from the project here & here.
IHF / Heart
I can’t imagine a more fitting track to start a feature – my first pick comes from Washington D.C. based Ben Gorvive aka IHF. If you’ve never come across his music, don’t worry, I hadn’t heard his music either before finding myself totally lost in his collaboration EP Sinking Flares. I’ve been listening to thousands of releases in various places within the blogosphere recently, two tracks on this IHF EP : Bridge and Heart : stood out across all platforms.
Not only has IHF created wonderful music which raises awareness to this project, he has made at least two songs that, I for one, will be pressing replay on for years to come. If you are into soft downtempo electronic, this guy is a must.
Vince Watson / The Chase
You name it in music, he’s seen or done it – one of Scotland’s most prolific electronic producers, Vince Watson, brings his vast experience to the table in a new collaborative album titled Hope. This new collection of songs, fused together using Ian Urbina’s archive is filled to the brim with subtle cinematic elements. The stand out song from this work is the uptempo single The Chase. The song evokes the same kind of euphoric emotions of an old Robert Miles or Rob Dougan release – this is a sound I adore.
Over the last twenty five years, Watson has played in pretty much every famed electronic venue around. He is a former resident at Tresor, Berlin – a club I visited myself a few years ago with some friends – that place is insane.
Melorman / The Outlaw Ocean
Athenian producer Antonis Haniotakis aka Melorman, created a wonderful ambient album called ‘Sea of Sorrow‘. I had the pleasure of interviewing Antonis a couple of nights ago and we had a nice conversation about music and life in general – he’s a very chilled guy and his music has an equally calming effect. I could’ve picked a fair few off the album to spotlight, but I’ve settled for ‘The Outlaw Ocean‘ – a soft, dreamy soundscape.
I’ll be posting the interview up on the site in the coming days.
Nebraska / Adrift I
On the recommendation of Dutch duo Fouk, I spotted the work of South London beat maker Alistair Gibbs (Nebraska) in the project’s catalogue. I’m glad they led me to it, Gibbs’ EP Adrift is a stellar bank of work. The song I’ve singled out is the opening track, fittingly titled, Adrift I. Being a sample-based producer, incorporating Urbina’s sounds wasn’t going to be a problem for this evperienced operator. The track features brief snippets of Urbina’s voice circling around a slow, yet methodical rhythm. This is a song perfect for background listening – fluid.
Cleric & Kmyle / Escape The Madness
When I saw Cleric‘s name on the release list, I was expecting rip-roaring techno. I was surprised when met with the polar opposite. His six track EP Beneath The Tangled Web Of Lies (alongside Frenchman Kmyle) is as ambient and soothing as it gets. When I first moved to the UK, a work friend hosted rave sessions in his attic nearby – I’d often pop my head in each weekend and be blown away by the scene. The place would be filled with eager revellers, techno was the music of choice. A Polish DJ called Jack was obsessed with Cleric – he’d blast out tune after tune and the whole neighbourhood would be up in arms. I can’t believe the difference between THAT Cleric and this new melancholic blend. Escape The Madness is so chilled that it allows the listener to do just that.
Televangel / Song Of The Trawler
My final choice comes from a producer called Young God – he’s one half of Blue Sky Black Death – and now goes by the moniker of Televangel (wow, that was a mouthful). All names aside, this young producer is a huge talent – his work with the aforementioned Blue Sky Black Death has seen him credited as one of the founding members of the modern ‘Cloud Rap’ genre. It’s not a genre I’m too familiar with but they are a pretty big deal in that sphere. Song Of The Trawler is my stand-out pick from his new collaborative album The Cosmic Waters. A marauding, intense and purposeful piece, it’s a great way to close out this little article.
Listen to all the releases from The Outlaw Ocean Music Project – HERE.
If you want to know more about the work here, check out Ian Urbina’s interview with the Pulitzer Centre below.
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man music blog which is still only a baby – Founded and run by Kevin Coakley in early 2019. He is a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists I find in my submissions inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE