The cheesy 1983 flick Flashdance wouldn't strike anyone as a hot commodity in an illegal smuggling ring. But if you were
living in post-revolution Iran, such items were scarce.
For Sharam Tayebi, one-half of American house duo Deep Dish, procuring the film via an illegal bootleg was the catalyst
for a successful music career. The group's latest single, Flashdance, pays homage to the film.
"When I was in Iran that music was very instrumental in my musical training,"
Tayebi says. "There wasn't that much stuff getting into the country right after the revolution. Whatever you got
your hands on you listened to over and over and over again.
"The soundtrack and the movie were one of those things for me. I had a close connection with [them]."
Tayebi moved to Washington DC in 1985. In 1991, he met Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and formed Deep Dish. They stuck
with the underground house culture, and it wasn't long before Madonna and Justin Timberlake were requesting their remixing
The Madonna connection even landed the duo a fashion gig with Donatella Versace.
"We did four shows for Versace," Tayebi says. "It was a very interesting experience, we learnt how that
world worked, but we don't really want to go back any time soon."
The group's move to pop culture was cemented in 2002 when they were awarded a Grammy for their remix of Dido's single
Thank You. Recently, though, MOR rock is attracting their attention.
On their new album, George Is On, they covered the Fleetwood Mac tune Dreams, even convincing Stevie Nicks to add her
vocals to the dance interpretation.
"We sent it to them and they really liked it," Tayebi says. "One day we got a call that she wanted to do
the vocals. We worked with [Nicks] for a couple of days in LA, it was a very surreal experience - hanging out with history."
All this genre hopping hasn't endeared Deep Dish to the house music purists.
Last year the pair committed DJ heresy by completely eliminating vinyl from their sets.
"We went 100 per cent CDs when touring last year," Tayebi says.
"It became a moot point to carry records because you could have the same record on CD, more of them and carry them
all the time without having to check them in on aeroplanes. It sounds identical in a club, too. As far as the people are concerned
you cannot tell the difference.
"A lot of DJs claim vinyl is warmer, but at three in the morning when everyone's drunk off their arse, do you think
anyone is going to notice how warm or cold the sound is?
"No, they just want to have a good time."