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On the 12th May 2023, Techno pioneer Dubfire, usually playing sets to thousands of people, came to serve a crowd of 350 people at Akasha Ibiza – and was excited to do so: “Intimate clubs like these are what it’s all about. I love playing for dedicated people who put so much love into every single detail. To an audience that shows up for the music only. Especially nowadays as dance music turned into a commercial business. Clubs like Akasha remind you where you come from and why you do what you do.”
Clubs like this cosmic temple, brought to life by legendary Sena only two years ago. A place for free spirits, he says, an (outer) space where time does not exist. Connecting the traditional hippie vibe of Las Dalias to a new universal dimension – to the next level.
As a DJ Sena is part of the techno scene himself. A worldwide movement, that started back in the early 90ies, when we revolted against post-industrial and urban degeneration, emotional coldness and social robotism with its pseudo society standards – and stood up for diversity, tolerance and love.
Akasha Command Bridge: Chief Executive Akashtronaut Sena (left), Musical Director Igor Marijuan (right)
With record cases full of vinyl records, two MK2-Technics turntables (Carl Cox with four), Ortofon Concordes, unbreakable amps, Infinity loudspeakers and a spiritual community with a liberated mind, we kickstarted the ongoing demonstration for love and equality – the Raveolution. At the weekends – from Friday to Sunday. Many times non-stop. In industrial warehouses, under open skies – and if necessary in front of parliament buildings.
Dubfire says: “Techno is still a movement and evolving since ever. We all try to stay relevant and involved. By not following trends, but setting them – and keep up with evolving.” Carl Cox recently said that DJ as a profession was not taken seriously in the 80ies, and Dubfire adds: “Even in the 90ies, especially older people, like parents for example, thought you were some kind of wedding singer at events when you said you were a DJ. They couldn’t understand it. Everyone wants to be a DJ today.”
Sync, Tractor & etc. – at least technically, skills are not required anymore. Whilst we were spinning vinyl records, what came closer to so called art and – and not everyone could just join in. “That’s right, Sascha, the technical part became the easier one – know-how about artists and music makes the difference today. Unfortunately, many younger talents get into it for the wrong reasons – they think becoming a DJ means getting the super seats, all the VIP stuff, private jets, etc. That’s the wrong approach and motivation.”
Ali Shirazinia, who moved from Teheran to Washington D.C. as a 7-year-old, knows what he’s talking about: “I toured Australia with The Prodigy and experienced Keith Flint, who couldn’t be nicer – and still brought this edginess of punk rock to the club scene.” Flint – like no other – represented the revolutionary side of our movement, I agree with Dubfire, as I had been lucky to experience The Prodigy behind the scenes myself in 2006, when I was their support act in Switzerland.
Dubfire adds: “Yes, the energy between the band and their crowd was so raw and intense. Talking about this, touring with Aphex Twin or New Order, travelling and hanging out at the hotel bars together for weeks were as well some of these weird lucky magical moments – and somehow there’s a reason why you’re there too.”
Probably because he shares dedication to music and passion with these acts – which was crucial for his personal development: “Through music, I felt valued for the first time in my life and got the affirmation I lacked as a child – because I was barely speaking the language. With music I could express myself, was understood and felt accepted.”
Initially in bands and clubs around Washington D.C., Ali noticed the upcoming changes in productions and live performances in the mid/late 80s, paving the way for what became techno and underground house: “Electronic tools made touring and compromises with other musicians in bands obsolete – and gave the sound an additional boost. The first to open this gate of innovation were industrial punk acts like Nitzer Ebb or Front 242.”
In the year 1990, Ali turned his vision into reality. Together with Sharam Tayebi he founded Deep Dish who became one of the most groundbreaking production and DJ duos in techno history. People who still labelled techno as “not real music” could not deny that Deep Dish tracks were based on brilliant songwriting. Numerous prestigious awards, like the Grammy in 2001, followed and the worldwide triumph of Underground House and Techno has been sparked. The music electrified and influenced a whole generation – successors of Dubfires vision and continuous work are today’s top acts like Tale Of Us, Nicole Moudaber or Art Bat.
At the peak of their success, Deep Dish split – to relaunch their solo careers and evolve once more. Ali continued confirming his reputation as a visionary and innovator with tracks like “RibCage (2007)”, “Emissions (2007)”, “Roadkill (2007)” or the iconic remixes of Plastikman’s “Spastik (2007)” and Radio Slave / Danton Eeprom’s “Grindhouse (2008)” are KULT – and game changers.
Relentless quality output has now taken Dubfire around the globe, dozens of times – not rarely to headlining sets in front of 50’000 people. Currently he’s touring the world again – presenting “Evolv” (https://scitec.lnk.to/evolv – available in 5-disc vinyl edition), the album Richie Hawtin never made.
A record that – again – captures Dubfire’s tenacious drive, artistic ambition, punk’n’roll attitude in Kraftwerk shape and dedication. This is what connects him to his base since the beginning of his carreer.
After an indepth conversation about the music scene and we agreed that The Prodigy changed both of our lives, club promoters called Dubfire to go onstage in the club. Where a lucky part of his Ibizan base has been eagerly awaiting him. He finally gave me a warm hug and said on the way to the stage: “Enjoy the music, Buddy.”
Which I did – like all the lucky attendees in every second on every square inch of this unique part of divine outer space: Akasha. Thank you universe.
All photo credits: Pedro G. Capel und Akasha Club Ibiza