The sound of Vienna-based duo dZihan & Kamien (pronounced Jay-hahn and Kammy-en) can easily be compared with the downtempo, soulful house sounds of Jazzanova, P'taah, or the Naked Music compilations. The duo hit popularity in 1996 with the single "Der Buch," which went big in European clubs and made appearances on several compilations. Their full-length album Freaks & Icons was released in late 2000.
Vlado dZihan, originally from Sarajevo, grew up in a predominantly musical household. As a drummer, dZihan became known on the local scene and recorded for the soundtrack of the film Arizona Dream, starring Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway. He met his production partner, Mario Kamien, while studying in Vienna. Kamien, German-born with both an Italian and Polish heritage, shared dZihan's interest in traditional music, from the Near East, especially Turkey, and a love for Arabic strings. Combining their musical interests with their musical backgrounds, the two released Freaks & Icons on their label, Couch Records. The album focused on a downtempo-house sound, using samples from traditional Near East sources. Freaks & Icons was proceeded by three EP's, Tearroom 2004, [B]efore [A]fter, and Code: No Pork Please. The mix album Refreaked appeared a year later, followed by 2002's Gran Riserva.