By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
As an Iranian-American teen caught up in Washington, D.C.'s '80s music scene, Ali Shirazinia became a fan of hardcore and New Wave. But when that decade died out, the kid switched, like a lot of ex-punks, to electronic noise.
He learned to DJ, eventually adopted the stage-name Dubfire, and cofounded infamous progressive house duo Deep Dish with Sharam in 1992. Throughout the '90s and 2000s, this tag team racked up tons of big-name remix credits — Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Depeche Mode — while dropping a series of definitive compilations, DJ mixes, and studio discs.
Three years ago, though, Dubfire ditched his production partner Sharam, setting out to purify his own personal brand of deep, dark, stripped-down techno. And in a way, you could call it a return to his long-lost punk past. "I try to apply a punk ethic to my own music," Dubfire writes on his Facebook page. "It has to be groundbreaking, futuristic, unique, and organic."
Not to mention, dude's even started wearing black leather biker jackets and a dirty Caesar hairdo like some kind of sci-fi version of Transformer-era Lou Reed.