Back in February a colleague Maider and I did two live interviews with Sara Abdel-Hamid aka Ikonika and Rajko Müller aka Isolée as part of the Micro Mutek festival in Barcelona. These have been posted to the Struments Radio site.
Ikonika was a fascinating subject, being both young and exceptionally driven without being coldly ambitious. From an intriguing background of Egyptian and Filipino parentage and introduced to electronic music via her older sisters and indirectly via video games. For someone so young her determination and clear mindedness come as a welcome surprise and with sense of relief: she feels like somebody you could entrust the future too. Not only that, her technique behindthe wheels of steel is exceptional and her genre-crossing mixes are always inpredictable, mixing dubstep, funky, juke and more.
This video has poor sound, but at least gives an indication of what she is like live.
Musically, she is still renowned for her album "Contact, want, love, have" on Hyperdub last year, but she also has a new label called Hum and Buzz up and running with Optimum.
Rajko Müller is also a gentile character, a charming and yet prototypically German personality. We had the chance to go record shoopping together after the interview, but did not find any flamenco records to his great disappointment. Serious and a little shy, he has proven again and again a capacity to innovate and overcome difficulties of fame and expectation. In 1998 he released "beau mot plage" a massive crossover hit between techno and house clubs which was followed rapidly by one of the first so-called "micro-house" albums, "Rest", in 2000 and its equally lauded followup "We are monster" in 2005. Earlier this year he released "Well spent youth", again to much acclaim.