Cenk's first musical experience started through a commodore64. Astonished by the those sounds, he decided to craft his own music using hardware sequencers and drum machines. Dataline first started as solo project around the early 90s while living in Istanbul. After moving back to UK and getting hold of an Elektron Machinedrum, he never looked back and did many gigs around Europe using only Monomachine and Machinedrum, taking part in gigs with well known acts like Vector Lovers and Daedelus.
Dataline also did live jamming sessions with Koshi Mazaki a.k.a Radek Rudnicki - Polish electronic music artist, who is living and studying in York. Video
After acquiring the Octatrack - Elektron's latest 'invention' and OP1 - portable wonder from Teenage engineenering, Dataline performed with Elektron trinity (Machinedrum, Monomachine, Octatrack) and OP1 combined together. Though his latest performances also include Elektron's newest product - 4 voice analog synthesizer AnalogFour.
The debut EP 'See You I' can be downloaded on publishing platform Bandcamp.
Album 'Hear Your Beat' released with NOORDEN label on16th of April, 2012.
Interview from Elektron Bulletin 2012-05-04
1. Congrats on the album release! How long have you been working on it?
Thanks! I have been working on this release since the beginning of this year. I have a lot of unrecorded material on the Elektron machines which always bothered me - 'why don't I record these'...The main reason for this was that these songs were aimed at performing at gigs and they just lived inside the machines. I did try to record few of the songs in the past by multitracking them and it did not work for me at all, they just lost the feeling and sounded too sterile. Few months ago, I came across the weeklybeats website and that inspired me to record new tracks every week. This got myself into some kind off buzz and decided to record just the stereo output of the Elektron machines into the computer. I decided to keep things simple and focus on the flow of the track rather than recording side. And after a few weeks, I thought that I could release these tracks as an album and here it is...I am continuing to release new material every week with the same purpose and planning to release them on different labels in the future.
2. You seem to have a really high production rate, you release a song more or less every week. What's your secret?
The secret is the Elektron machines, simplicity and flow. These machines are very inspirational - just messing around with them gives me ideas to come up with a song. I try to find a pleasing melody at first which usually reflects the mood I am in at that moment. Once that is done, adding other bits such as bass and drums comes naturally. One thing I do is that I go through the patterns of the song a lot of times to make sure that the composition is not boring and flow is going. As it is pattern based music, the sections can sound 'disconnected' which I try to avoid. Also I try not to stray away from the original idea of the song as ideas just fly out of these machines and you can loose the plot easily. So I do delete some of the phrases and simplify the whole process. One other thing is that, I keep everything on the machines to keep that 'feeling'. The song should absorb your feelings and not be a static matter, it changes with you through the stages of developing, performing and recording the final performance.
3. Have you consolidated your setup or are you looking to expand it? If so, with what?
If I had the space to set it up, I would get a digital piano - something like a Nord Piano2 or Korg SV1. I really like those relaxing piano/rhodes type of sounds and something I miss when dealing with synths. I keep myself away from DAWs and VSTs. They don't seem to work for me. Although they sound great and have near unlimited potential, this is not something I am after. I prefer to keep a simple, limited but inspiring and creative setup which has an interface designed for studio work and live performances. This is exactly what Elektron machines offer. With the Elektrons, I use the OP1 a lot. It brings such a diverse approach to music making. Especially connecting OP1's sequencers to control the Elektron machines opens a lot of possibilities. I feel very complete with the current Elektrons + OP1 setup. I do have some other synths but they have not seen any much use lately. Currently, there isn't anything on the market which I really want to add to the setup. Sure, I would love to own all those fancy looking synths and drum units - but do I really need them?
4. What is your favorite trick with the Elektron machines?
There are too many to choose from! On Machinedrum, my favourite trick is to use short RETRIGs to create synth stabs on the E12 or ROM machines. Combine that with Filters, LFO, Reverb and Delay - there are a lot of sounds to be created. On Octatrack, I like to use the Lo-fi effect before the Filter. Driving the Lo-fi effect into oblivion while taming it with the Filter results in some really cool sounds. On Monomachine, it is just wonderful to Parameter lock the FM machines within the sequence. And also using the POLY mode to capture nice chords and melodies into the Octatrack. These machines have very nice little touches like, holding Function while assigning new machine to keep the other settings of the track intact, copying and pasting parameter locked Steps by pressing Step + Rec/play, nudging the sequence with Function + Left/Right, Stop + Play combination on the Monomachine to enter different type of sequencer recording and many many more...I have lost the count of the years I have been using them and I still find out new ways to use these features. Something I discovered recently was that you can control the Monomachine's joystick section using Octatrack or Machinedrum's MIDI sequencers. This was in front of me all the time but you just notice these little hidden features when the time is right.
Get to know your machine!
-Making the most out of the sequencer and parameter locks-In depth explanation of each machine's sound design structure
-Examples and ways to use the machines to compose entire tracks
-Real-time sampling of external gear with Octatrack and Machinedrum
-Creating Bass, leads, pads and keys on the Monomachine, Machinedrum and Octatrack
-Using the Monomachine and Octatrack as deluxe effect processors
Below is some written feedback from various people who came for tuition on the machines:
--After viewing Data Line's you tube channel I got in touch with him to see if there was any possibility of him training me up using the Monomachine and machinedrum in combination. After discussing some objectives and goals he invited me up to york to get cracking.
He is a true master of the machines and took me right through the basics of sound design with the machines and how to get the most out of them to more advanced techniques of using the instruments in a live situation and creating interesting build up effects for transitions.
His methods are logical and gave me a supberb understanding of the principles behind the sequencer and how to layout patterns to create full tracks.
All in all i spent 3 days with data line and went from a complete novice to becoming confident enough to produce my own tracks. Best of all all the elements we worked on were saved in my machines so i could reference back to the techniques learned.
i cant recommend this guy enough his skills are immense and he worked at a pace i was comfortable with so everything i learned i retained and above all he is a top bloke with a clear passion for what he is doing which you cant help but get infected by.'
--'I decided that I would like to use the Octatrack as I have been messing around with Ableton on my Computer but never really enjoyed using it that much. I got in touch with Dataline via the Elektron Users Forum after seeing one of his Octatrack videos on You tube.Neil (NeilKingswell on Elektron-users forum)
I spent two days with Dataline and was amazed at how much I was able to learn in that time. I started knowing the very basics but left feeling familiar and confident with the Octatrack. All the tuition was carried out at a very relaxed and enjoyable pace.
Datalines knowledge of Elektron machines and his unparallelled passion for them is completely infectious. I found I could not help but want to learn the OT inside out.
His Knowledge of The Octatrack and other Elektron machines is simply first class and his recent appearance at the 2011 Frankfurt Musikmesse is surely testament this.'
--'After not being able to get any sound from my Octatrack & whilst on elektron website, I saw projekt dataline, after reading his reviews & seeing + hearing his work I decided to e-mail him, he replied quicker than I expected & e-mailed me what now seems basic instructions to get my unit started, after many more e-mails, & various links that he sent me, I decided I would like to meet him for tuition,this was arranged & he travelled many miles to my hometown to teach me, the tuition beganTony Brooker, Clacton On Sea UK
He was very patient & some procedures we had to go over several times, within an hour I was assigning loops & sounds to tracks. & creating my own sounds, I had studied the manual for two days & not been able to do this! I already felt 100% more comfortable with the machine, I then created more tracks, whilst he taught me how to apply effects to certain sounds, & then save the tracks, he also explained in detail all the effects & what they did to the sound,
On the second day jake taught me how to, take samples & slice them, & he also taught me to use the x fade & flick between different scenes , unbelievable amount of stuff I had learnt in less than 2 days, he has a very calm way of simplifying things on the unit, which I found tremendous help whilst learning. The amount of knoledge this guy has on elektrons is incredible, he answered many questions, & still he was eager to teach me more, I now do all that he taught as second nature, without jake I'm sure my Octatrack would still be sitting there soundless, & cannot thank him enough.
--'I spent two very enjoyable days with Cenk learing the in's and out's of the octatrack. His enthuisam and knowledge is amazing. I went from not being able to make a sound out of my octatrack to learing how to make tracks within it/ and perform live etc. He also showed me the midi side of things which with my synths takes things to another level. Cenk is very patient, friendly and teaches in an easy to understand and fun way. The octatrack has quite a steep learning curve but spending just two sessions with Cenk - Im already well on my way!
Highly recommend his tuition if anyone wants to get to grips with this amazing Elektron gear!!!! Big ups! Soosh.'
--When I’m not touring as a professional sound engineer with various acts, I like nothing more than spending a few hours creating my own stuff, Elektrons machines & Renoise being my favourite ports of call.
Heavy schedules mean my time is limited so after watching Datalines online videos, I decided that spending some time with Cenk may well catapult me forward a few weeks if not months & man was I right about that.
I already knew the Machinedrum & Octatrack reasonably well, the Monomachine less so, but this guy was in another league, he is to these machines what Steve Vai is to the guitar!
I can wholeheartedly recommend Cenk to anyone looking to further their skills on these machines, his relaxed but disciplined methodology is enlightening & his pace is simply breathtaking! There were times, when demonstrating his own material; I thought smoke would emanate from his fingertips!
Fortunately he slows things down & is more than happy to repeat sections so you can grasp what’s going on. He has a deep understanding of the internal machines, their potential applications & delivers information at a steady rate.
I think anyone involved with these machines, at all levels of ability; would be able to learn something here!'
--For a busy man like me it was just perfect to head out to Dataline's headquarters for a weekend to learn how to work the 'not-so-straightforward' machine.
And what a timesaver it was!
There's basically not an Elektron related question he can't answer (and I had quite a few) and it was unbelievable and very inspiring to watch him work the machines. Highly recommended!