Ali ‘Dubfire’ Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi have kept their Deep Dish project near the top of the house music game for at least ten years now, and yet in that time the duo have released just one artist album, 1998’s Junk Science. They’ve not been idle though, with their Yoshitoshi label clocking up more than 100 releases, several mix albums available through their own imprint and Global Underground and a mass of remixes, from Everything But The Girl to none other than the Rolling Stones.
Their breakthrough was courtesy of one of these remakes, De-Lacy‘s Hideaway, a tune that broke new ground for full-bodied US house in 1995. This was followed a year later by the epic instrumental Stay Gold, a hazy summer anthem eventually becoming the basis of Future Of The Future, by which time Tracey Thorn had been recruited for vocal duties.
The future does indeed look bright, as Flashdance has given them a huge worldwide club hit, its full-bodied hook picked up by many a DJ. It’s the most commercial track on this album, which loosely follows the lead of its predecessor, teaming moody instrumentals with club based vocal tracks.
A big coup is the addition of Stevie Nicks, who contributes new vocals to Dreams. Originally this started out as an instrumental, the warm bass and mellow atmospherics complemented by a straight, minimal beat. The duo realised its potential and sent it to the Fleetwood Mac vocalist, who agreed to re-record her vocals. With those in place it’s classy tune – much better than previous attempts to cover this by Wild Colour and The Corrs.
Long time vocal collaborator Richard Morel, who brought the excellent Stranded to Junk Science, adds his distinctively smoky tones to the excellent Sacramento, a faster paced house work out, the darker Everybody’s Wearing My Head and No Stopping For Nicotine. Anousheh is the woman supplying the catchy Flashdance vocal, but she doesn’t sound quite so convincing on the odd Awake Enough, which starts well with what sounds like chanting monks but loses credibility with a somewhat hackneyed vocal.
Elsewhere Swallow Me is a brooding instrumental, while second single Say Hello brings a widescreen sound to surround its underlying melancholy. At nearly 80 minutes the album is vast by all accounts, but its subtly changing take on house music blends nicely with the down tempo excursions, meaning the listener can dip in and out at their leisure.
The beats may be a bit faster than 10 years ago but the principle remains the same. Deep Dish make effortlessly cool house music with seemingly little effort. It’s to be hoped they don’t wait another seven years before releasing their next album.