Dubfire is coming back to Paris for the Big Bang Festival, a festival hosted by the promoters of the Marvelous Island. I had the pleasure of talking with the almighty Dubfire, a few weeks ago. In relation to the first edition of The Tribes, one of Paris’s most infamous Ibiza, punk-style promoters at Faust. I discussed technology, freedom and the return of Deep Dish with the Sci+Tec Records boss. The man is a legend, there is no need to introduce him, so here it goes…
Hard Life • Firstly at a glance of the philosophy of your Art, how would you describe your aesthetic?
Dubfire • Well, I would say it’s been described before as being very technologic, very techno- advanced, but also retaining a sort of punk ethic. I think what I try to represent is freedom, freedom of expression through sound.
My sound is very open to incorporating different sounds, to representing my true identity as an artist, coming from not a mainstream perspective but a more left field alternative perspective. I would say my sound is a very alternative left field underground punk perspective.
Hard Life • How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Dubfire • I see myself as a kind of cyberpunk. I am a slave to technology! I always think about my roots too, you know, what brought me here, all the different evolutionary cycles that I went through: techno, skinhead music and more.
Hard Life • What are your plans right now ? Are you working on any projects for the summer or towards the end of the year ?
Dubfire • I’m working on so many things right now. We started the whole Deep Dish project in March last year, we didn’t have the chance to follow up our debut single, quincy, with anything new. We entered studio at the beginning of february, we have about ten songs we’re trying to finish. I think we finished about five right now, so we’re trying to put out some cohesive artist album. It will be a signal about the new sound of Deep Dish.
Hard Life • Talking about the new sound of Deep Dish, I heard Quincy, I can sense a real turning point in your aesthetic, would you agree?
Dubfire • The interesting thing about the new sound of deep dish is the fact that Sharam and I spent 8 years apart. We spent a great deal of time pursuing our individual path, I went in a more techno direction whereas Sharam went in a more commercial direction and when we got back together at the beginning of last year we realize there was a new spark between us. We wanted to cultivate our new musical genesis to find a new identity. So that’s what we working on now.
Hard Life • How are your personal projects going ?
Dubfire • Well, at the same time as the Deep Dish, I launched my new live show that we began in Time Warp Mannheim. Every month we’re doing a different show, the tour is gonna run for about two years.
Hard Life • Do you have visuals for this tour ?
Dubfire • Yes and that is what I think truly makes the Dubfire experience. It’s everything I want to represent with my sound, from the beginning when I started to producing as a solo artist to where I am right now.
When we finish the tour, we are probably gonna finish that era of the Dubfire sound. Right now, I’m looking at the next evolution of my sound. I think the next we will incorporate vocalists, incorporating the sounds I was influenced by when I was growing up, for example new wave and punk and goth as well as all the industrials artists I was inspired by.
Hard Life • Who are those industrial artists ?
Dubfire • Sure; Test Department, Einturzende Neubauten, Bauhaus (I’m friend with those guys). It could be Jesus and Mary Jane, Ministry, Depeche Mode, Fugazzi…
Actually my plan is to do a collaboration, an album incuding all the people I grew up listening to.
So that is my plan, but right now I’m focusing on the live show, it’s a really incredible journey.
Hard Life • How do you link your music to life in general?
Dubfire • Well, I was always playing in band when I was younger so I really wanted to take my music and create some sort of live show. But I knew as a DJ there wasn’t anything I could do to create a true performance for the audience. So I had to create a performance through technology and the technology that we developed kind of created a personal story so we have a kind of narrative, and I guess you can think me as a character within the narrative. A character, a being in the story, a personality within the visual world that we are creating to try to make people forget about where they are for a second.
Hard Life • Can you expand upon the element of transcendence?
Dubfire • Yeah transcendence is a theme and being absorbed into the story is critical too. I try to transcend through a typical performance and I want the audience to transcend through a specific visual experience.
Hard Life • What’s your biggest influence at the moment?
Dubfire • I guess my biggest influence is still technology, it’s music, it’s Ibiza. Right now we’re about to enter the new season and I’ve already been there once for a DC-10 opening and it’s like the alarm bell for the season.
Tomorrow night I’m playing with Solomun back to back in Pacha, so I have a lot of gigs where I’m playing back to back (with Ritchie on click to click for example). I’m waiting to see what kind of music my colleagues will gravitate toward. I’m surely gonna be influenced by what they do.
Hard Life • What would you consider to be a battle for techno music today ?
Dubfire • A current battle for techno is making the promoters of really big festivals allocate the right budget to our stages. A lot of the time, for example when I do Electric Daisy Carnival or Ultra, I go to some of the big stages and I can tell that most of the budget of the festivals was allocated to the EDM stages.
I think techno, our music, deserves better representation than the EDM stage, in terms of production value, in terms of sound. Our music needs the right platform to be able to resonate with the crowd, and the crowd needs to see and hear something out of this world.
We know, as producers and Djs, that the music needs to be where it needs to be. It’s a matter of context. Promoters have to give us the right budget so we can play in the right way.
Hard Life • One last question. Do you think Techno helps or has helped to emancipate people, to really become themselves ?
Dubfire • Techno represents freedom. Techno, before anything else, is an expression of freedom, the freedom to explore, freedom to take technology and bend it’s rules. It’s freedom to take technology and use it rather than let technology use you, to use it as a means to express yourself in new ways.
There are so many young talented techno producers, some are here tonight with us, for example Ron Costa, Timid Boy, you Sixtyten, Marwan Saab. A lot of the guys here tonight are taking technology and using it to create their own voice within a space.
I think the important thing is to realize that there are so many people making and playing electronic music. In order to really stand out, you have to take that technology and you need to bend it in your own unique way.