Initially pigeonholed as deep-house producers though their blueprint for house music sweeps across trance, techno, and sub-basement dub, the Iranian-American duo known as Deep Dish produced a multitude of club staples during the 1990s while harvesting a stellar series of productions for their labels (Deep Dish, Yoshitoshi, Fast Food, and Middle East) by members of the ever-growing Washington, D.C. dance community. While most of Dubfire and Sharam's productions have the epic, grandiose feeling that ties many a house track to its disco forebear, the duo's knack for tight programming and genre-blending has carried them above many of their dance-chart compatriots.
Both Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi were born in Iran, though their paths first crossed at a 1991 dance event in Washington, D.C.; both were immersed in the local DJ scene and working part-time at retail jobs they hated. They set up Deep Dish Records in 1992 and debuted with the production "A Feeling" by Moods. In 1993, an old schoolmate of Ali's named Brian Transeau recorded "A Moment of Truth" and "Relativity" for the label; both singles spread the Deep Dish message on dancefloors, and a link with Detroit producer Carl Craig (with whom they swapped mixes) helped the pair's street credibility. By 1994, Dubfire and Sharam were ruling as kings of the D.C. house scene, and had set up the sublabel Yoshitoshi for releases by like-minded compatriots Submarine, Satori, Alcatraz, and Hani. That same year, DJ legend Danny Tenaglia convinced Tribal UK Records to sign Deep Dish for its new Tribal America subsidiary, and the duo hit the dance charts with productions like "High Frequency" and "Casa de X." Deep Dish also made their full-length mix debut in 1995, taking charge of compilations for Tribal America (Penetrate Deeper) and Slip 'N' Slide (Undisputed).
The year 2001 also saw the duo earn their first Remixer of the Year Grammy nomination for their work on Madonna's "Music" and Amber's "Sexual (La Da Di)." A remix of Dido's "Thank You" won them the Grammy a year later, the same year their Global Underground: Moscow mix CD won Dancestar USA's Best Compilation award. A third volume of Yoshiesque followed in 2003 along with three different editions of Global Underground: Toronto, one with the duo spinning together and one solo set each from Dubfire and Sharam. The pair eventually went their separate ways in order to pursue solo ventures, and would not regroup until over a decade later when they released the single "Quincy" in March 2014. That same month, Deep Dish broadcast their first Essential Mix since 2008 on BBC Radio 1 with Pete Tong. ~ John Bush