By: Mariam Elhamy
The DJs, producers and live act duo Frankey & Sandrino joined forces in 2010, they started out as solo artists with Sandrino’s passion for house music and Frankey, a schooled musician with a string of releases behind him. Together they released music on Innervisions, Mule Musiq, Bedrock, and Kompakt. Throughout 2019 they’ve made appearances on Diynamic, Poker Flat, Drumpoet Community, and Cin Cin. They also have a record label together, Sum Over Histories. January 2020 will see them release a four track EP on Watergate Records. Frankey & Sandrino will be playing at Cairo Jazz Club on December 12th and we’ve interviewed them to find out more about their music.
Tell us about your experience doing a world tour? Which country has been your favorite so far? Which has the best audience?
S: I consider travelling as part of my job as a privilege and I’m very grateful for that. Every country or city I go to I really do try to explore a bit, even if the schedule is very tight or I feel tired from the night before. Besides music, food is a very important part of my life and my touring routine. I make sure I always try the local cuisine; it’s a good glimpse of the country’s long-existing culture.
I like the diversity between audiences in terms of expression, the ‘closed eye dancers’ but also the ‘going nuts’ crowd.
F: Australia because of their overwhelming mentality and Japan, because it feels a little bit like another planet.
What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a DJ? As an attendee?
S: When I play freely and I can express myself the way I see or hear the music. Short set times (2h) have crept in as a standard for DJs to play. I/we prefer to play long sets for at least 3-4 h or All-Nighters, this gives me more time to take the people with me, experiment and create waves of emotions.
F: A DJ gig I did in 2015 at Kater Blau, Berlin. I felt like I played the perfect set there for a perfect crowd. I’m very critical regarding track selection, track order and mixing but it couldn’t have been any better. As an attendee: Rainbow Serpent Festival, Melbourne Australia 2017. No words can describe why this is the best festival in the world – You have to be there….
How did it all start for you?
S: Very easy, attending a Rave in the early 90’s…
The sparkle of Techno & House took over me and would never ever let me go again. Quite the reverse – it gets stronger the older I become.
F: I’ve been making music all my life. I started playing the piano when I was around 8, then later Bass-guitar. I did nearly every kind of music but got into electronic music a little bit later then Sandrino; around mid 90’s.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
S: Everything can be inspirational; family, nature, certain emotional experiences or even music. I try to be open to everything that happens and not limit myself.
F: Everything I hear, that I’ve never heard before, inspires me. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen too much anymore.
What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs making? / What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
S: Trying too hard to fit in. Be completely free & unprejudiced when it comes to music and just find yourself in it. You don’t want to be a copycat of a copycat of a copycat…
F: Young DJs try to create an image instead of a musical identity, but I’m not sure if I should advise against it because sadly this strategy seems to work nowadays.
Where do you think the scene is headed?
S: This is more wishful thinking, but I imagine a musical world without social media ruling it where we dedicate our attention to the music and not the visual illusion created around it.
F: I find it kind of fascinating how music styles always circle back. Currently the hip sound is 130 bpm Acid-Techno, which to me sounds very old. So, I’m pretty sure that everything comes back at a certain point, but my hopes are that something new shows up, something totally unexpected that redefines things.
If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
S: I don’t like any sort of limitations, every snapshot in time has its eligibility and gives you something greater than you may expect.
What is it that you love about the scene? What is something that bugs you about the DJ scene?
S: My love for music is what keeps my motivation to learn, improve, and experiment…
F: Honestly I feel that the DJ Scene is a little bit overrated (and overpaid) at the moment.
When I was young, I played with some outstanding Jazz musicians, maybe the best musicians I have ever met. They dedicated their whole life to practicing their instruments for 6-8 hours every day and learned as much music theory as possible. Sadly these people earned just a fraction, compared to some average DJs today and that just feels wrong. Of course, there are a few exceptions out there, Dj’s that put the maximum effort and passion into Djing. But they are often not the most successful ones…
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
S: I think I would go crazy just starting to think about naming only one song. Music is very much connected to emotions & moods it’ll change constantly.
But I can tell you what flashed me today on my flight back home; I listened to the new LP by The Orangen. It blew me away from start to finish.
F: First thing that came to mind: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
What are you excited the most about visiting Egypt?
S: I’ve been to Cairo only once and my stay couldn’t have been better. We had a great night at The Temple then we visited the Pyramids. One of the most overwhelming places I’ve been allowed to see & experience in my life. Can’t wait to come back.
F: The pyramids were amazing and were already on my bucket list, and the event at The Temple was better than all my expectations. Looks like there is a really healthy electronic music scene in Cairo.