After an almost eight year hiatus, the groundbreaking duo returns for a highly-anticipated, if uneasy reunion
Deep Dish is officially reuniting. After remaining mum on rumors and offering little explanation for a cryptic countdown on their website, pioneering electronic duo Deep Dish has confirmed the release of a new single, “Quincy” -- its first since 2006 -- along with a one-off show at the Ice Palace in Miami on March 29 (the Saturday of Ultra Music Festival). A full tour is expected but as of now, dates are not announced. If you ask the group’s Sharam Tayebi, this is a reunion on par with some of the most legendary in rock history.
“To me, there’s no difference between Led Zeppelin and Deep Dish and what we accomplished,” Tayebi told Billboard earlier this month backstage at Montreal’s Igloofest. “They captured the imagination of their era; we captured the imagination of our era. That’s a controversial thing to say. Whatever, fuck it, I don’t care. That’s what it was.”
You can preview “Quincy” here. The full track will get its premiere this Friday on Pete Tong’s BBC1 radio show and will release on March 31 through Virgin Records in a deal with as-yet-undisclosed terms.
As one of the few dance acts from Washington, DC to break internationally in the ‘90s, Tayebi along with Ali Shirazinia (aka Dubfire) made a name for themselves as Deep Dish through their melodic and accessible house music across several high-profile remixes and a string of underground club hits.
Deep Dish found its greatest chart success with the 2005 album, “George Is On.” The set spawned two charting hits: “Say Hello,” which earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording and a new version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” featuring an original vocal recording by Stevie Nicks. The LP spent 13 weeks on the Electronic Albums chart in 2005, peaking at No. 3, though Tayebi feels like it didn’t quite get the attention it deserved at the time.
“Everybody thought of dance music as the bastard child of the music industry,” he opines. “I always thought of it as the rescuer of the music industry and then all of a sudden, a few years later here we are.”
Deep Dish were one of the first American dance acts to achieve mainstream recognition while keeping their feet planted in nightlife. They earned a Grammy nomination in 2001 for Remixer of the Year and won the following year (when the category was renamed to Best Remixed Recording) with their version of Dido’s hit, “Thank You.” Between 2000 an 2006 they were consistently ranked towards the top of DJ polls and were able to command top dollar for gigs, competitive with Armin van Buuren and Tiësto.
Despite such acclaim and remaining in high demand as a DJ act until their hiatus, the intensity of the partnership between Sharam and Dubfire ultimately deteriorated. Rarely seen together on tour (or even during Winter Music Conference in Miami), it was widely rumored that the two lifetime friends were now at odds. When they disbanded, each DJ pursued markedly different musical paths: Dubfire immersed himself in minimal techno while Sharam opted for house and progressive.
Today, Tayebi is somewhat uneasy about rejoining his once-partner in crime. “There are a lot of unknowns,” he admits. “I don’t know how to say it. It’s familiar territory but at the same time (we each) go on our own journey. The bottom line is, the quality of music and the quality of the process is there.”
The group’s biography -- that of two Iranian immigrants who met during their early 20s in a DC nightclub and bonded over their love of house music -- was a storied tale that resonated with an audience who believed equally in the power of dance music and the American dream. Despite their time apart, Tayebi believes the bond he and Shirazinia once shared can hold them together again.
“There’s a lot of divorces in the world and if you go back to it, a lot of it has to do with differences in culture,” Tayebi says. “Not geographical culture, but upbringing. That’s what gets shit fucked up. I’m a firm believer in innovation and I know Ali is the same with his stuff. We’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum doing our own things, but the common denominator is innovation.”
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant would be proud.