Podcast: Listen to the Label Vol.15 – The Outlaw Ocean / Synesthesia Media (February 2021)

In our new podcast series, we’ve chosen to focus on who provide us with the precious “raw material” for our listenings and features: quality new music!

We are talking about those heroes who decided to launch, nurture and cultivate a record label (better if with an ‘independent’ in front of it). As the title suggests, Listen to the Label is our way to pay them a well-deserved tribute, disclosing and recognizing their invaluable work and letting them introduce it with words and tunes.

The new episode of our Listen to the Label podcast series allows us to introduce you to a forward-looking and progressive reporting project which found new life reincarnating itself into the record label format.

Its founder, Ian Urbina, a front-line journalist (as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter) for the New York Times and New Yorker, has dedicated his life and career to investigative journalism. One of his most recent and significant professional adventures, a best-selling book titled The Outlaw Ocean, sums up five years of reporting at, on and from the sea, touching 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”.

Next to his written and video reportages, Urbina also collected field recordings and sounds from his days and experiences at sea, from “machine-gun fire off the coast of Somalia to chanting captive deckhands on the South China Sea”. He then approached musicians and producers from all over the world and music genres and asked them to give their very own interpretation on the archive and passages from the book.

The result is an impressive collection of compositions inspired by the sea, its characters, chronicles and narrations which represents a radical and original way to do journalism and music at the same time.

Despite all the info we could find on the comprehensive website and all the music we could listen to on Bandcamp, we thought that the best way to learn more about The Outlaw Ocean and its music “equivalent” was to reach its “prime authors” and one of the musicians who enriched the music adaptation.

So, a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to interview Charlotte Norsworthy (Director of Content), Holly Speck (Social Media Director) and British-born DJ and music producer Robin Perkins, better known as El Búho, author of one of the latest instalments of the series (Aguas Profundas).

Track list:

  • Philip G. Anderson & Ian Urbina – 18 Hours [from Help Us; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]
  • Ash & Ian Urbina – Dystopia [from Dystopia; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]
  • Televangel & Ian Urbina – Like Silence Is to Sound [from The Cosmic Waters; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]
  • Jeriqo & Ian Urbina – Empty Waves (Shizaru Remix) [from Empty Waves; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]
  • El Búho & Ian Urbina – Deep Water [from Aguas Profundas; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]
  • El Búho & Ian Urbina – An Undiscovered Paradise [from Aguas Profundas; The Outlaw Ocean/Synesthesia Media, 2020]



– Listen in to all of Listen to the Label previous episodes HERE –