Dataline – “Track & Teach: Octatrack + ElectribeMX” (Dataline) [October 14, 2021]

Berlin-based improvisational electronic artist Dataline releases an interesting album + tutorial combo on his bandcamp. The second in his “Track & Teach” series, the former Elektron spokesperson pairs his trusty Octatrack with a classic Korg synth/sequencer to create four mind-bending experimental techno tracks.

“JungleBass” starts off with a old school rave synth glitched out over a jungle-instpired breakbeat. The massive distorted kick booms through the speakers, providing a constant energetic output by morphing through different patterns and switching to four to the floor at times. A track that garners more and more interest as it progresses, the rave synth gets ditched for a gripping acid line in the second half of the short number for a deeper, trippier vibe.

While “PinkSpikes” certainly has plenty of originality in its own right, it seems less experimental than the rest of the album with a more structured dancefloor arrangement. Again mixing four to the floor with breakbeat to emphasize the energy jumps, Dataline sticks with a plethora of acid lines to keep the track banging hard throughout its seven and a half minute duration.

Still bleeding out from the prior madness, enter “GrandAwakening” to continue the dance party with a shuffley groove built for the floor. Always including his dj-style Octatrack tricks, the Berlin-based performer emulates filter sweeps and fader throws with style to really give the feel of a live mix performance. Including octaved arpeggios to give a more melodic and emotional feel, he reverts back to a nasty acid line to finish off the idea and move into the final track.

“RusTeknosu” concludes the album with an entrancing melody and rolling bassline to start off, slowly building up the elements and energy to lead into…you guessed it…one last prime acid sequence to bang your head to. The final piece provides a hypnotically eerie ending to a riveting album of trippy experimental techno improvisations.

“Track & Teach: Octatrack + ElectribeMX” is available on Bandcamp with a live performance video from Superbooth 2021 on Youtube.

-Kai Loo

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