It would probably be impossible to find someone claiming they like techno who has not heard of Ali Shirazinia aka Dubfire, much less listened to his productions. Originally a member of the DJ duo Deep Dish from the early 90’s until 2006, Dubfire broke away from progressive house and started making minimal techno on his own. Since then he launched his own label Science + Technology Digital Audio which is host to a long roster of globally recognized DJs.
Last Friday I took my second road trip to New York in a month to catch an extended set by the SCI+TEC boss at Space Ibiza New York. Dubfire was one of the first artists I was introduced to when I started getting into techno. Last time he played in Boston a friend of mine threatened me with physical violence when I informed him that I had already purchased a ticket to another show that was occurring on the same day. To be fair, I was still very new to the genre, but I haven’t made the same mistake again. Now I count Dubfire among my top 5 favorite DJs.
He was preceded by The Junkies who were followed by Shaded on the decks for a rave that lasted from 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. I went to Output about a month ago and was blown away by the sound system, but I think Space was even better. It was a bigger dance floor and the place was totally decked out with stacks of FunktionOne speakers. At times the bass was so intense it felt like my chest might explode (I mean that in a good way). For the majority of the Junkies set I hung out at the back and warmed up to the music. They were good, but, having them take the opening set was appropriate. Shaded was on another level. I almost hate to say it but I enjoyed his set more than Dubfire. He has a very unique, funky sound that had me right in front of the DJ booth for two hours without giving any consideration to taking a breather. To get a sense of his sound it’s worth checking out the second hour of the last episode of the SCI+TEC radio show from December last year. There is also a good interview with him at the end.
Shaded was well received by the crowd and did a great job maintaining the vibe in lieu of Dubfire who went on at around 3:30 AM. I think it’s safe to say you can know what to expect when you see Dubfire spin, with the exception of his recent experimentation with 2D and 3D visual animation in conjunction with live audio. I’ve yet to see the dubfire:live HYBRID show but it looks amazing. His sound is unmistakable and he is a master at building tension. For the remainder of my time there I was absorbed by the “jet-black, polished chrome techno” that Dubfire is known for. I didn’t do a good job of conserving my energy throughout the day leading up to the show so I didn’t last more than a couple hours after Dubfire went on, but I will be seeing him again on March 4th for a B2B with Joseph Capriati at Bijou in Boston.