Excited with their current mixed compilation Global Underground 25 debuting at #1 on the Billboard Electronica sales chart, Ali took some time to talk to About.com about their DJ and musical life.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: How did it feel to be chosen to mix the Silver Anniversary CD for the Global Underground series?
Ali of Deep Dish: Obviously very flattered, because we're the only other American act aside from Tenaglia to have been asked to mix anything in the series, let alone the anniversary.
DJ Ron: Are you the only one's who've done it twice?
Ali: No, we're not the only one's who've done it twice, I think Danny's done it twice as well, but we're basically the only other American act on the GU series apart from Tenaglia.
RS: How did you choose the songs for your new GU CD?
Ali: Just basically what's been lingering in our record boxes over the course of about a year. Things that we never grew tired of, things that always sounded fresh, a lot of things that people overlooked, and some new bits that we picked up along the way as well.
RS: How was the Toronto night chosen for the compilation? Was there several sets to choose from or did you spin that night with the CD in mind?
Ali: It actually wasn't recorded live, none of the GU CDs are ever recorded live. There's usually a party that inspires the particular CD, and a lot of the DJs, what they tend to do is just record that particular set and then go back and sort of digest it and listen to it. And figure out what works within the context of like a mixed CD and what doesn't.
RS: Was the Toronto night special for some reason? Why did you chose that night to base it on?
Ali: It was pretty much planned out that we were going to highlight Toronto as the city, and we ended up doing a party well after we'd already decided on Toronto being the city. Also, we wanted to do it at the best club in Toronto and pretty much all of Canada, which is the Government Complex.
RS: The compilation starts with the acapella from Julie McKnight "Diamond Life" - does that song hold a special meaning for you?
Ali: Yes, not so much a special meaning, but it's basically Julie's voice. For a lot of our fans her voice is as familiar as our own productions tend to be, because throughout the years we've signed many tracks' producers who have used Julie as a session singer. We ended up using a couple of her tracks on our OCS series and this was another one that just sort of came out of the woodwork. And it's a combination of great song writing and really beautiful emotive sort of vocals that really stood out for us and made us choose that particular song to do.
RS: Her song Home is one of my personal favorite songs in the past few years. Your Global Underground CD debuted at #1 on the Electronica sales chart - what was your reaction?
Ali: We were ecstatic. It was a feat that even Global Underground as a company had never achieved with any of their previous compilations. So it was not only great for us as Deep Dish, but it was great for Global Underground, and also really great for the CD.