Dubai by D.C.
Following the ambitious (some would say exhaustive) disc that was 2005's George Is On, which featured the inescapable "Flashdance" single, the members of Washington, D.C.-based Grammy-winning duo Deep Dish are taking some amicable time apart to work on solo projects. But Ali Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi, though not particularly prolific in the record release department, are never idle. Shirazinia, who performs as Dubfire, is currently in Southeast Asia, playing clubs from Bangkok to Singapore. Meanwhile Tayebi, who prefers to go by his first name, is remaining stateside, hewing to the East Coast while mulling over a possible future as a composer of cinematic scores.
New Times recently chatted with the soft-spoken Sharam about his propensity for dance-rock fusion and a bunch of other stuff.
So, George Is On kind of exemplified Deep Dish's signature big song sound, with all of those guitars. Is your two-disc solo mix album Dubai a disassociation from that type of music?
We started experimenting with rock sounds on Junk Science nearly ten years ago. At the time, it was unheard of to use guitars in dance music, but the record was embraced. But I don't like to confine myself to one certain sound. The fun part is creating different things. The sound of the next single, "PATT (Party All the Time)," will be familiar to some people in terms of a blend of known pop with original beats, but the rest of the tracks are a departure, the expansion of some ideas I've been working on for a while.
Why'd you call the record Dubai?
I have visited Dubai several times, and I think we as Deep Dish have played there three times. It's one of the only cities in the Middle East that's forward-thinking, where people can do what they want to do, and it's growing as fast as Las Vegas. There's no fanaticism going on over there. Not specifically as an Iranian-American, but in a general sense I wanted to showcase that things are moving forward in many places in the Middle East, to try to represent that aspect more and get it more attention.
Do you compose while you are traveling, or do you work at home in your studio?
I took about a couple of months off this past summer at home and transferred all my notes and software notations to one work station, but I do a lot of work on my laptop, too, when I'm going from place to place. I use the Live program software, and it makes it a lot easier to do three to four hundred edits in one session on the computer than having to go back and forth to the studio.
What's the difference between working on compilation discs and remix albums?
For compilations I don't really do any edits to the essential elements of the songs. It's more of an aesthetic, organizational skill, so it's about building and sequencing what's already there. When I do a remix, I create entirely new elements, structurally and musically. This I take seriously because I am affecting the integrity of the original composition, of course. As a DJ and composer, I can appreciate when people do things right and when people don't. When I'm hired to do a remix, it's a completely different platform.
So I guess we'll see you in a few months at Winter Music Conference.
Oh yes. We come to Miami a few times a year at least anyway, and Winter Music Conference is simply a required part of the job. My partner will have his own solo album ready to release at about that time, so it should be an interesting week.
I've heard you are interested in going the Danny Elfman route and becoming a composer of film scores.
I've always had an interest in that, but it's such an investment of time and intensity. Our music is very cinematic; that's something we're consciously developing and aware of. So when something comes up that can work with our schedule, and there's a film project that we can connect with, contribute to, and make better ... we'll see.
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