Deep Dish

Selected by
Don Crispy

Photo courtesy of Yellow

From relative obscurity, Washington D.C. house duo Deep Dish sprung onto the dance music scene with their 1998 smash album, Junk Science. We caught up by email with Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia, who with Sharam Tayebi makes up Deep Dish, to discuss developments in clubland in advance of next weekend' appearance at Yellow.

First of all, let me ask you how your last gig at Yellow went - how do you find the club scene in Japan? How does it compare with elsewhere?
It went very well; the club scene in Tokyo is really no different than that of clubs throughout the world; once you have a space, a sound system and a DJ, there's really nothing else that sets clubs apart other than the clubbers, and the people of Tokyo were no less enthusiastic about being there and listening to great music than anyone else.

Are you finding it hard to follow up the success of Junk Science?
Not really, as we have yet to go into the studio and work on any new original material! Our lives have pretty much succumbed to the pressures and commitments of DJing, running both Yoshitoshi and Shinichi as well as overseeing our new ventures, which include a record store, website and booking agency! We've got loads of ideas and half-finished tracks and have just built a brand new state-of-the-art studio and will be dedicating the end of this year/beginning of 2002 to working on a follow-up to Junk Science. Sharam and I will also be doing some solo projects for our Deep Dish label, as it has been dormant far too long!

What do you think of the closing of Twilo - where are you DJing in NYC these days?
It's a shame really as dance music was just starting to gain some real momentum in New York and elsewhere in the US and Twilo was partly responsible for planting this seed of steady growth.

Is the house scene peaking? What's coming next for you stylistically?
The music scene is peaking and will continue to mutate and steer in different directions and we hope to play an active role in its stylistic changes. We've just done a slew of mixes back-to-back which couldn't be further apart musically from one another; there are our mixes of "Rapture" by Vaiio (Twilo Recordings), which have that typical big-room, dark and dubby vibe. Then there's our mix of Nsync's "Pop" (Jive), which sounds like Basement Jaxx on estrogen! And we just finished Planet Funk's new one, "Inside All the People" (Virgin) which has a very retro/alternative rock/pop feel so we've been very excited with our forays into different styles lately and it's kept us typically inspired :-) We've just started on Depeche Mode's "Freelove" (Mute) and we have NO idea what direction that one will go in!

What are you listening to these days? Are there any Japanese artists you like?
Currently, I've been listening to a lot of Cuban music as well as the new Radiohead album and a new group called Doves. Aside from DJ Krush, I really don't know of any Japanese artists, though we have signed a track by Tokyo's Satoshi Fumie for our Yoshitoshi imprint so we're very excited about that one!

How is the life of "international DJ superstars"? How do you guys chill out?
We don't really get any time to "chill out," that's an unfortunate downside to success that many people don't take notice of. But at the end of the day, we're healthy and are doing what we've always loved to do and making a decent living at it so we've got no complaints!

How was it working with Madonna on your "Music" remix? Did you have a chance to work with her directly?
A few months after we did the mix, we DJed her exclusive show in New York and rehearsed with her for two days. She's an absolute perfectionist and very in control of every aspect of the production. She's also incredibly nice :-)

What do you think of the state of worldwide dance culture at the moment? Has it become overly institutionalized?
It's really taken off big time, especially in America. We're seeing packed clubs and enthusiastic clubbers pretty much wherever we go! I also think that people are appreciating quality music again as opposed to the cheese that had infiltrated much of clubland for so many years.

Will you be Djing 20-30 years from now? How do you see your careers developing?
I don't know? We'll need to start families soon so we'll have to reevaluate our career at that point and try to maintain a more stable balance between our careers and our personal commitments. We'll always be involved with music but we may shift our efforts to doing more album work as well as some soundtrack work.

Deep Dish Yoshiesque 2 release party @ Yellow, 7/19, 10pm, JY3500 (adv), JY4000 (door), w/1d. Tel: 3479-0690.

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