Did you know I love the extraordinary?
And you know what?
Extraordinary squared happened yesterday.
- I received a text message: "The Beauty and The Sea" album is finally released
- The album supports "The Ocean Project"
- Launch of a 'new' HIVE challenge: "Writing Music Challenge" by Slobberchops
Since HIVE is primarily a blogging service, and LOVE music, I do believe we shall not just share music. Blogging is about sharing stories, ideas, opinions and so much more. I love people writing about and around music making this challenge one that I do want to support!
Being a bit quiet myself on the writing front last months, this challenge is the perfect trigger to become a bit more active again. And what better than to write about "The Beauty and The Sea" album, a great album for an extraordinary project launched by Pulitzer winner and Journalist Ian Urbina (profile). In very vague terms, I wrote about this album back in June (post). That time, I couldn't link any music and I couldn't reveal the project in relation to this album. Hence vague terms only. I remember, I was so trilled back then; I wanted to shout into the world how exited I was, how much I loved what I was hearing. But I couldn't.
The good news: Now I can!
Image: owned by Steve Rachmad (source)
In 2019 Ian Urbina published a book "The Outlaw Ocean" bringing together everything that is happening on our Ocean's. The book cover reads:
There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.
Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, this unique work of reportage brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.
In itself this book is extraordinary already. But the project is so much bigger! Ian decided he wanted to translate his book into music for which he approached a bunch of producers asking their support. Amongst them the guy that brought Detroit techno to Europe back in the 90s, Steve Rachmad (profile). Miss COVID, perceived as something bad and dangerous, did well for him. She gave him the time required to come up with the "The Beauty and The Sea" album. And what an album it is!
I do LOVE (yea, with capital letters!) the works of mister Rachmad. Already a fan for about three decades. Been to gazillion club events and festivals listening to his sets. Goosebump time, mostly. Lots of Techno: Underground, Minimal, Detroit styles. Some Electro: More in the 90s and early 2000 than recent. Some Disco: the off-the-beat kind.
Now: Ambient with Classical influences (and some Techno): Strings, mixed with his hardware based keyboards, drum and sound machines.
Back in early June when listening all the tracks, "In Peaceful Protest, Pt. 1 (instrumental)" (track 2) and "Hope and Optimism" (track 8) stood out for me. Definitely like the other tracks as well, but these ones are so beautiful! Not only I love the strings, but also the absence of the strong beat most of master Rachmad works contains. Shows to me how musical this guy is! Not many in the electronic music scene are able to create music in different genres, many don't dare to step outside their comfort zone. Maybe most can't. Maybe scared for their brand. Who knows? Not Rachmad! Fortunately for me! :)
By now, more than a 100 artists contributed to the "The Ocean Project" and the list is growing. The collection (and more) can be found here. A super cool ambient interpretation by Vince Watson and a techno version by Aril Brikha I do have in my album play list at Spotify as well. Must say, didn't listen most of the others yet; A project for the remainder of the year with the hope I can extend my Spotify playlist even further.
The Reporting: link
The Calendar: link
The Book: link
The Music: link
The Album: link
The HIVE Music Challenge: link
all images by edje unless stated otherwise