It was a risk. Perhaps even a gamble. But whatever it was, Ali ‘Dubfire’ Shirazinia's decision to go solo in 2005 was anything but easy. Together with Sharam Tayebi he had conquered house music under the name Deep Dish, a partnership which began in 1991 in Washington DC. On their way to the top, Deep Dish released acclaimed dance classics beginning with the 1995 remix of De'Lacy 'Hideaway', and went on to work with an eclectic array of names in pop, rock and electronica. Together they won a Grammy, among many other high-profile awards, and became one of the most respected DJ acts in the world.
Having firmly established the reputation of Deep Dish as pioneers amongst the greats of electronic music, no one would have blamed Dubfire for resting on his laurels. But despite the odds and dance music history being stacked against him, he decided to go it alone. Dubfire’s first solo release was a remake of the 1989 Love And Rocket’s classic ‘I Feel Speed’. The track symbolically and sonically marked a crossroads in Shirazinia’s music career, fusing Deep Dish’s vocal-driven progressive house with darker, edgier sounds. Dubfire continued to quietly release a string of remarkable tracks, and in 2007 he founded SCI+TEC Digital Audio as an outlet to release his new music, much of which was inspired by his musical roots - a kaleidoscope of influences that spanned punk, new wave, industrial, dub, hip hop, house and techno.
Dubfire kept experimenting and evolving his sound. 2007’s electro-tech track ‘Raodkill’ edged Dubfire ever closer to a techno sensibility, while the stripped-back ‘Ribcage’ showed his appetite for exploring the cutting-edge. Soaked in minimal atmospherics, ‘Ribcage’ was the first ever release on Loco Dice’s much-heralded Desolat label, and it became an instant classic.
Dubfire followed up with an onslaught of dancefloor-igniting releases, landing on some of electronic music’s leading labels including Cocoon, Get Physical, Rekids, and Richie Hawtin’s highly respected Minus imprint, which released both his single ‘Emissions’, and an official re-work of Plastikman’s 1993 classic ‘Spastik’.
With each release, Dubfire’s profile soared higher. Two top 10 tracks in Resident Advisor’s 100 Most Charted Records of 2007, IDJ Magazine’s Player of the Year in 2008, nominations for Beatport’s Best Minimal Artist and Best Techno Artist in 2008 and 2009, covers on countless music magazines, mixes for Mixmag, BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix, and DJ Magazine – the accolades and achievements came thick and fast.
Then in 2009, Dubfire captured the zeitgeist once again with a seminal remix of Danton Eeprom and Radio Slave's 'Grindhouse'. The track, released on Rekids, crossed genres and encapsulated everything that Dubfire stands for today: dark rhythms, superior audio, and technological brilliance. It was the apex of a sound that DJ Magazine called "jet-black, polished chrome techno." Groove and Raveline Magazine named it the Best Remix of the Year.
Throughout this remarkable journey, Dubfire’s SCI+TEC Digital Audio record label continued to grow. Originally set up as an outlet for Dubfire’s productions, the label soon established itself as a home for emerging techno talent, putting Dubfire at the head of an electronic music scene at the cutting-edge of technology.
A healthy partnership with German producer Oliver Huntemann was also brewing. Beginning in 2008, the duo’s series of club tracks on Huntemann’s Ideal Audio label gave both producers an outlet for peak-time techno. The resulting singles ‘Diablo’, ‘Dios’, and ‘Fuego’ were big club hits, and Dubfire and Huntemann’s continued alliance is likely to see similar such success.
Fast forward to 2011, and Dubfire's recent work has seen him co-produce tracks with celebrated British electronic music act Underworld, put out a two-disc mix compilation with Loco Dice for Cocoon, and remix more Plastikman material.
And Ali Shirazinia? He is the risk taker, the gambler, the audacious man who conquered electronic music not once, but twice.