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
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
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
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
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: