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Discover İlk Zamanlar: An Interview on Their Sound and Mastering

May 23rd, 2024 | by Öykü Topaloğlu

İlk Zamanlar, Istanbul’s dynamic electronic duo, brings a fusion of cyberpunk, experimental, and industrial sounds. Their single “Hata” offers a preview of their upcoming album, “Planet 404.” Panzer leads with vocals and storytelling, while Dülger handles music creation. Crafted from live performances, “Planet 404” captures their raw energy, enhanced through mastering. In our interview, we entered into their creative process and mastering journey.

Hey! Mind sharing what inspired you to create the awesome album “Planet 404”? Also, how would you describe İlk Zamanlar’s musical style?

İ.Z.: It is a dark and bizarre sci-fi story as an album and a journey to an Error Planet, where our society donated with illusions of success, perfection, right choices, and fear of making mistakes. Our music can find its place in a cyberpunk atmosphere, with vibrant techno, electro, hip-hop beats, expressionist vocals, and visible storytelling. Experimental in creation and blending in the genre choices.

Can you guys dive into the concept behind “Planet 404” and how it’s shaped your music? We’re super curious!

İ.Z.: A journey to a Planet where everything is wrong, faulty, erroneous. From beginning to and, the born of a being, an errant child in an error world, the fetus that needs to walk, a crazy drive in the road, two weird creatures that use “error right”… What is Error, wrong, what is faulty, in the system, what is the mistakes we afraid of, we asked in Planet 404. We want to explore the concept of error and how we can make faulty decisions and walk out from decided worlds.

Could you walk us through the super cool process of creatingPlanet 404” from those epic live performance recordings?

İ.Z.: Oh, definitely! These are improvised recordings when we play like children in our studio. When we freely experiment, go deep in trips, make mistakes, and have so much fun. We dug into these countless recordings and brought them back to life. We wanted to preserve the raw energy and spontaneity of our performances while polishing the album’s sound.

Sounds like a wild ride! When it came to mastering, what were the key elements of your music that you really wanted to pump up?

İ.Z.: When mastering, we adjusted the sound to fit the album’s changing pace. It starts slow, picks up speed, then slows down again. This rhythm takes listeners on an emotional journey, guiding them through highs and lows. After all, music is all about emotions and energy. With Diktatorial, we found what we needed to make each track flow smoothly between slower and faster sections.

Which tools or features from Diktatorial AI Audio Mastering were your favorites in making “Planet 404” sound amazing?

İ.Z.: Oh, we had so much fun experimenting with Diktatorial’s tools! One of our favorites was the stereo-image control, which allowed us to fine-tune the balance between becoming a club track and sounding good on headphones. We also loved playing around with the coloring options, adding harmonics and richness to our tracks.

Did you guys give Diktatorial’s “prompt to mastering” feature a spin? If so, how did it shake up your creative flow?

İ.Z.: Yep, we definitely gave the “prompt to mastering” feature a chance after seeing how awesome it sounds! It was like having a personal sound engineer guiding us through the mastering process. We just explained how we wanted it to sound, and we were able to handle it with Diktatorial without getting into technical details. It saved us a ton of time. *giggles*

So, how excited are you about the upcoming release of “Planet 404”?

İ.Z.: We’re beyond excited for the release! It’s like witnessing our artistic vision take flight into uncharted territory. We are crafting not just the music but also every visual aspect of the album, from the album covers to the videos. It’s all part of our creative journey of our planet full of errors.

Lastly, what’s the message or vibe you’re hoping listeners will pick up from “Planet 404”? We’re all ears!

İ.Z.: We hope to give inspiration about being wrong and making faulty, dummy, free decisions. Being obscure, bizarre, the unwanted, unfinished, heavy, and light one, the other, a broken machine, an exuberant wolf, a sunny child.

Update (May 24, 2024): Their album Planet 404 has been released! The whole album is mastered by Diktatorial Suite and we’re super proud of this!

Link us your released tracks mastered with Diktatorial Suite: https://cc3oagackuf.typeform.com/to/c0K1sv0D