Ali “Dubfire” Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi’s musical trajectory began in the early ’90s in Washington, DC when the duo came together as Deep Dish. Blending their mutual love of ’80s electronic music, Chicago house and Detroit techno, they crafted a bespoke sound that wasn’t afraid to color outside the lines. In the process, they took house music to a place it had never been before.
Within a few years they became superstar DJs, commanding top billing at clubs and festivals all over the world. Their Yoshitoshi label starting spewing out hit after hit, and it seemed like they were unstoppable. After producing a string of classics and remixes (there’s too many to mention), and snaring a Grammy for remixing Dido’s “Thank You,” Deep Dish came to an end in 2006. By that point Dubfire had already donned a long black T-shirt and pledged his allegiance to techno. Conversely, Sharam had gravitated toward a more commercial big-room sound. Deep Dish reunited in 2014, but despite initial excitement it was a nonevent.
Last week Sharam announced that he’s planning to release a triumvirate of techno-tinged tracks under his Collecti alias. At first I discounted the endeavor, but a cursory look at his recent releases (which I have admittedly not been following) demonstrate an interesting evolution toward the techier side of the spectrum. Sharam sowed the seeds of techno on his 2016 album Retroactive, and has recently presented a sleek collaboration called “Ski” with Reinier Zonneveld.
Obligatory press release gush from Sharam: “Collecti is a culmination of work that represents my endeavors into a sound that has always been near and dear to my heart and central to my sets: techno. For my last album Retroactive, I was fixated on all of my influences over the years, for this album, however, my focus is on the darker realms. These records are my dance floor experiments, my secret weapons, tracks that have been driving my sets and I’m excited to share this body of work with everyone.”
Have a listen to “Scorpi” and be prepared to be impressed.