We first officially introduced Rajko Mueller aka Isolee back in 2011 on the blog, when the critically revered Well Spent Youth LP had only just been released. Since then, the minimalist maestro and the man that’s defined as being the mastermind behind ‘Rest’, the very first record to take microhouse to the charts, has expanded the wealth of his output over the past few years with releases on Pampa, Styrax and Tamed alongside developing the core of his live production. As he continues to flourish from his home of Hamburg, Isolee’s capacity to create contemporary and emotive techno is what undoubtedly defines him as one of the finer four four purveyors to date. So as he prepares to join Osgut Ton’s Steffi, Craig Richards and Sam Russo in Room One next weekend, we caught up with Mueller ahead of the show for a quick chat.
We are very much looking forward to your set in Room One next month. What does fabric mean to you? To me fabric is "the institution" for clubbing in the UK at a highly professional level, I’m always very excited to play there.
How has your live set progressed since the last time we spoke to you? Do you still get a great response? Usually the response is great, but it also depends on the circumstances. A good sound system like the one in fabric is essential, but that is not always the case in every club.
In your first interview with us, you said that ‘elaborated arrangements’ were a definitive characteristic for your tracks, is there anything else about your productions that stands out for you? Beside the arrangements, I create and use these harmonies and melodies. I think most of my tracks are built around a melodic theme and I’m always looking for harmonies that catches without being too obstructive or flat. I want to keep something mysterious.
I guess the elaborated arrangements must make things more interesting for you when you’re playing live! What can we expect from the show this time around? You could also see it as the less complex arrangements, the more easily it can be mixed together. But anyway my life set is in constant development and the most important thing for me is to make the work more intuitive. I've changed my setup in that way, I have a nice selection of unreleased and classic Isolée stuff that I can play around with, which is much more fun to perform.
You were born in Frankfurt Germany. Is this where you are currently based? How would you say the country has influenced you as a producer? I was born in Frankfurt but I’ve lived in Hamburg since 2001. I think the club culture in Frankfurt has always been very highly developed. It was in Frankfurt during the nineties that I discovered house and techno and would listen and dance to all the now classic DJ's and producers. I guess this must have really influenced my interest in music at the time. Although, in Hamburg there is a great bunch of producers and labels that are inspiring me right now.
Do you have a certain technique in terms of making music? And if so, is it different to when you first began producing? I don't think I have a certain technique, at least I'm not aware of it. Of course the way I produce changed over the time due to changes in my studio and the development in music software. But basically I still maintain a kind of "trial and error” strategy.
Are you working on any interesting projects at the moment – musically and non-musically? I'm working on a new release on Pampa and also on a new album.
Finally, what do you have in store for this year? Nothing that’s finished yet.