From pioneering commercial success as Deep Dish, to equal global acclaim within the underground scene, Dubfire is an artist whose drive, talent and intuition have placed him in the top ranks of electronic music for 3 decades. While 2017 marked the tenth anniversary of his groundbreaking solo career as well as his revered SCI+TEC imprint, Dubfire is, by all accounts, a future-forward visionary, ready to take on the next decade and beyond with the same unrelenting work ethic and determination to innovate, evolve and entertain. From solo performances at many of the world’s most influential clubs and festivals, to his remarkable story (documented in the Above Ground Level documentary film), running the iconic SCI+TEC label, the recent EVOLV album, or simply exploring the boundaries of audio and visual technology with his HYBRID and EVOLV shows , he is in a class of his own.
Born in Iran and raised in the U.S. from the age of seven, Ali ‘Dubfire’ Shirazinia first developed his skills playing in bands and at local clubs in the Washington, D.C. area. He was introduced to Sharam Tayebi through a childhood friend in 1990, and soon after they formed Deep Dish; a production and DJ duo that went on to conquer the world of electronic music, picking up a prestigious Grammy (2001) in the process, in addition to a vast array of other awards and accolades; and helping to pave the way for the current electronic music boom. Yet at the height of their success, both opted to take a step back and pursue solo careers, with the Dubfire alias allowing Ali to express his deep love for underground house and techno. With a rapid arsenal of innovative new music, he quickly integrated himself into the minimalist scene, and produced several key releases that cemented him as a true visionary and a force to be reckoned with; early tracks like ‘RibCage (2007)’, ‘Emissions (2007),’ ‘Roadkill (2007), not to mention his iconic remixes of Plastikman’s ‘Spastik (2007)’ and Radio Slave and Danton Eeprom’s ‘Grindhouse (2008),’ – now widely considered a bona fide classic – ushered in a new era within the vast techno genre. Then there were his onslaught of remixes for such diverse acts as Nitzer Ebb, UNKLE, System 7, Paperclip People, Joseph Capriati, Stephen Bodzin, Audion and Tiga amongst a host of others. Further displaying his versatility, he co-produced two tracks on Underworld’s Barking album (2010) as well as collaborating with France’s Miss Kittin on the acclaimed ‘Exit (2014)’ and ‘Ride (2016)’ singles.
Seldom satisfied with the status quo, Dubfire reinvented the concert experience in 2015 with his critically acclaimed HYBRID show. The two-year world tour that followed would prove the inspiration for the retrospective album, HYBRID – A Decade of Dubfire (2017), compiling ten creatively explosive years with the bulk of his best tracks and remixes. And that wasn’t the only projects he delivered over this period; marking the eight year anniversary of his collaboration with Germany’s Oliver Huntemann, the dynamic duo released the Retrospectivo 2008 – 2016 album (2016), followed by the SCI+TEC ’10’ album (2017) which also marked the mighty labels’ decade-long journey. The latter spawned a new collaborative alliance between Dubfire and the imaginative DubLab team from Portugal, culminating in a series of visually arresting label events world-wide, and carrying over into his upcoming EVOLV show which will pick up where HYBRID left off. More recent collaborations with Carl Craig, Flug, Kölsch and Luke Slater, along with remixes for Chris Liebing, Kazuya Nagaya, Kevin de Vries, Moscoman, Stephan Bodzin and Luke Slater’s revered Planetary Assault Systems project sees the techno stalwart’s mastery of tackling multiple genres with ease and grace. And further refusing to be boxed in, Dubfire’s work with VOLVOX Labs for the musically and visually arresting Museum of Modern Art’s MetLiveArts project at the The Met Cloisters in New York saw him steer his sound towards a more experimental direction.
Dubfire’s remarkable life story thus far has been told in the captivating documentary Above Ground Level (2017), which chronicles his career trajectory as a youngster from the 1979 revolution in Iran, to becoming one of dance music’s biggest stars. Revealing a human story of an immigrant in pursuit of the American dream, the film steers clear of past electronic music cliches and gives an in-depth look at the hard work and sacrifice needed to become a success within the electronic music scene. For Ali himself, Above Ground Level marked the end of a dazzling decade, and the dawn of the next 20+ years of creative exploration where he will continue challenging himself to push the envelope and elevate the electronic music genre.