Wave 7 of The Outlaw Ocean Project. - Music by Alan Braxe, KMTR, Benoit Pioulard, and Cheap Monk
posted 19 Feb 2021 by Krister Axel
Bringing the conversation of how to best collectively manage access to the limited resources of the world's oceans to the forefront for a new generation of young minds and superfans of electronic music.

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We have covered The Outlaw Ocean Project extensively - CHILLFILTR is proud to support this important project that brings together musicians and producers from around the world, and gives them a spotlight on the award-winning efforts of investigative journalist Ian Urbina, as he explores a crisis that is intensifying in the forgotten two-thirds of the planet. Through the telling of these difficult stories, Urbina and his collaborators showcase the continued need for stewardship and public scrutiny of this important resource. It's a massive project, now in it's 7th wave of new releases, and has successfully brought this conversation - of how to best collectively manage the limited resources of the world's oceans - to the forefront for a new generation of young minds and superfans of electronic music.

This month we are featuring the works of Alan Braxe, Benoit Pioulard, KMTR, and Cheap Monk, but Wave 7 includes much more amazing music that you can find here.

Benoît Pioulard, the musical alter-ego of multi-instrumentalist/writer Thomas Meluch, combines 'found sounds' with electronic grooves and a bittersweet pop sensibility. Originally finding his voice as an ambient instrumentalist through his work with the Rattling Wall Collective in Dutch, and collaborating on a multimedia piece for the University of Michigan's 2003 Film and Video Studies Association Lightworks Festival, he soon branched out as Benoît Pioulard with early works the Enge EP and his debut full-length, Précis.

Now with a long list of successful releases as Benoît Pioulard, Meluch's music has crystallized around his ability to craft atmospheric soundscapes, and through his experimentation with more rock-leaning aesthetics - including bedroom pop and shoegaze - along with exciting one-offs with prominent electronic labels like Ghostly, Moodgadget, and Morr Music.

His latest EP release Roil is a return to his ambient and organic roots, as single "Sajo" explores a lush and moving juxtaposition of warm synths, slow, introspective melody, and sparse elements of percussion.

In the world of electronic music, Alan Braxe needs no introduction. He is a singular musician with a 'rare and restless spirit,' as his love of composition and melody began at an early age. He remembers fondly his early days as an indie producer of electronic dance music, using only a mixer, a compressor, and an Emu SP1200.

Now approaching the 20th anniversary of his breakout dance music classic "Music Sounds Better With You" — a hallmark of the then-emerging French Touch sound, made in concert with Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter and childhood friend Benjamin Diamond — Braxe again takes a radical turn in method by stripping his studio of all things digital, and experimenting with a Buchla modular synthesizer that echoes the inspiring minimalism of his first setup.

"So Quiet," from his Outlaw Ocean-inspired EP "Silence at Sea," joins a feel-good electronic vibe with layers of analog synth, and delivers a classic combination of impeccable production aesthetics and undeniable groove.

Cheap Monk's real name is Miguel Martín, and he concocts lofi chillhop from his home-base in Málaga, Spain. With the prevalence of soothing, lush sounds, ambient effects, and boom-bap rhythms, Cheap Monk draws inspiration from artists like Emancipator, Nujabes, and Porter Robinson.

Just like a fan of rock music might pick up a guitar, Martín picked a laptop around 2010 and started learning how to make electronic music. Initially focussed on the EDM scene, after years of messing around with Fruity Loops, Martín began to take his passion more seriously, and Cheap Monk was born in 2018.

After two years his catalogue has grown a bit more diverse, with selections that range between laid-back downtempo, and a more hip-hop-oriented sound. His latest EP "Mares Sin Ley" - which translates simply as "Ocean Without Law" - brings together an introspective, lofi sound with deep, resonant synth tones that mimic the lonely and chaotic majesty of an ocean in turmoil.

KMTR is the musical alter-ago of producer Konstantin Timoshenko from Kazakhstan. He is a newcomer to the electronic scene, and this is his first release. "Ocean of Crimes" combines an industrial, four-on-floor rhythm with big electronic bass tones and a generous use of vocal samples from the Urbina catalog.

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist