Ali Shirazinia, better known as tech-house producer Dubfire, had a specific reason for accepting an invitation to play at the grand opening of the newly remodeled Marquee night club in NYC this past weekend.
“New York nightlife hasn’t been quite what it used to be the last couple of years,” Ali told VIBE while from the megaclub’s green room moments before taking the decks of the revamped nightlife staple. “I wanted to do what I can, to use this platform, because a guy like me doesn’t typically play the Marquee [scene] … so I wanted to help out anywhere I can to promote credible underground DJs.”
Dubfire may not usually play swank venues like Marquee, but he’s far from unknown in the EDM world. The Iranian artist based out of Barcelona capitalized on opportunities to play frequent gigs in Europe this past summer, most notably in Ibiza where he was a guest for Richie Hawtin’s infamous ENTER party. Before spinning at the Marquee opening, he had just finished throwing a party for his own acclaimed label, SCI-TEC, at the BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico one week prior.
Dubfire cited his affinity for local NYC DJs Sleepy and Boo – both opening with a supporting tech-house set to prep the packed house for Dubfire’s unique underground sound – as a big reason for him coming out to support the new venture.
Marquee’s decision to open their venue with an underground act like Dubfire was no accident, with future plans to dedicate a weekly slot to the underground culture in an effort to make NYC a new destination for the tech-ier side of house music that isn’t often represented outside its birthplace of Detroit.
Even the remodeled Marquee itself is a telling shift to the trends of today’s club industry, and one that competing night spots are sure to take note of. The newly renovated space veers away from exclusive VIP rooms to an inclusive performance space that brings the music front and center. Gone is the private lounge that was once in a separate room; instead an entire terrace of elevated tables has transformed the club into a bottle first approach, giving every patron the best seat in the house. The 30-foot-tall stage, rich with LED light displays and dancing platforms, gives plenty to ogle over. Even the ceiling is decked out in LED panels.
“People are wanting to dig in a bit deeper and try to follow more interesting artists and styles of music, because a lot of what is being passed off as dance music is really pop, said Dubfire before rushing out to spin a three-hour set. “These people are slowly starting to realize that and I feel like the landscape is changing. This year is going to be a turning point, especially in America.”