When the Grammy-winning duo Deep Dish unceremoniously split in 2006, we assumed it was likely for good, as one half of the duo, Dubfire, dove deep into the minimal techno sound, while the other half, Sharam, went down the big-room house path. But with the announcement today of their collaborative return to the stage on March 29 at Miami’s Ice Palace, new hope has sprung for a whole host of other acts that we once thought were forever severed. With this exciting reunion on the horizon, we got to thinking about what other dance-music teams we’d like to see back on the block.
When it was announced in 2010 that Stephen Fasano was leaving Aeroplane, it was widely assumed that Vito De Luca would continue to push forward. Surprisingly, it’s Fasano’s new incarnation as The Magician that has been the most prolific. Still, looking back at the pair’s stellar catalog together, which helped midwife the nu-disco sound into existence during the late ‘00s, we’d sure like to see them give birth to some new tricks.
Sasha & Digweed
As the first superstar DJ duo, it’s astonishing that Sasha & Digweed only have two remix credits to their combined name. Still, they managed to introduce America to the age of the superstar jock, with their legendary residency at Twilo in New York, and era-defining Northern Exposure mix CDs, which made progressive house a powerhouse genre in the late ’90s. As a team, the two have been mostly inactive since a reunion tour in 2009, but listening to the soft-yet-epic sound of current faves like Dixon, it’s hard not to see the continuation of the thread they first spun.
In an almost identical tale to Aeroplane, wobbly “blog-house” kings Crookers went from being a duo of Phara and Bot to becoming a solo project of the former in 2012. The first one-man track, “Ghetto Guetta,” dropped in 2013, mixed their scuzzy synths with a tongue-in-cheek big-room build, but it remains to be seen if either solo artist can match the success they had remixing Kid Cudi back in 2008.
For a couple of guys who referred to themselves as “Keith” and “Mick” in their final interview, the pairing of Dave Sumner (aka Function) and Karl O’Connor (aka Regis) was probably a testy proposition from the start. But tales of personal conflict (and personal injury) are only appealing if the music stands on its own, which was certainly the case with Sandwell District. Having parted ways a mere nine months ago, it might be a moment before another techno transmission comes from the label/collective/live show, but if it happens, it’ll be worth the wait.
Like a secret landbridge between Jamie Lidell’s early IDM identity and his far more celebrated electro-crooner sound, Super_Collider paired Lidell with Euro-Chilean techno producer Cristian Vogel. The project saw Lidell finding his voice over two albums, 1999’s Head On and 2002’s Raw Digits, as well as onstage, where he would sing, strut, and beat-box, wrapped in a coat made of cassette tape, while Vogel bashed on piles of vintage gear. A third album was attempted in Barcelona in 2004, but only one single, “Radianations On the Rise,” made it out of the lab.
Kruder & Dorfmeister
It’s almost impossible to have entered a hip boutique, lounge, restaurant, or salon in the late ’90s and not nodded your head to Kruder & Dorfmeister’s K&D Sessions. Maybe that’s why the double-CD set is alleged to have sold more copies at the time than the rest of impressive indie K7’s catalog combined. Equally odd was that the compilation gathered not original tunes, but K&D’s remixes of acts like Depeche Mode, Lamb, Roni Size, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, which, combined, exponentially outnumbered their output of original tunes. Like many ’90s acts, the late 2000s saw a return to the stage for the fan favorites. We’re still waiting to see if any new music, original or remixes, will ever follow.
Strictly Jaz Unit
Capable of moving from silky-smooth house to arm-hair-raising acid jack tracks (sometimes on various versions of the same tune), this loose Chicago collective was primary the work of Glenn Underground, with able support from Boo Williams, Brian Harden, and Tim Harper, as is declared in demonic fashion on William’s remix of “Take Me Back.” We’d take SJU back in a second.
Though previously secure in their solo outfits before beginning a collaboration, Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke and Montrealer Lunice hit on something extra-hot with their pairing as TNGHT in 2012. A few live dates and an EP for Warp Records and Luckyme shouldn’t have left too much of an impression, but their turbocharged crunk sound demands more releases, which will hopefully come sooner than later.
A good drum & bass brand is hard to build, which might explain why after eight years as a duo (with another four years as a trio prior to that), it made sense for George Levings to continue producing as Commix after the amicable departure of Guy Brewer in 2012. At the time of the separation, multiple singles and an album were promised by year’s end. But as only one tune, the free download “Fallen,” was released on Metalheadz since, it stands to reason that bringing Brewer back into the fold would see a gain in productivity.
Tricky & Martina Topley-Bird
Tricky has released many albums with many singers over the years, but none have had the sheer impact of his first full-length, recorded with a teenage Martina Topley-Bird in 1995. Their debut effort, Maxinquaye, stands as possibly the greatest trip-hop album of all time, competing only with Tricky’s former group, Massive Attack, and fellow Bristolians Portishead for the title. Although their split is known to have been more contentious than most on this list, with two classic albums and a child between them, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that new music could someday surface—especially after a 2012 reunion saw the pair perform Maxinquaye for capacity crowds in England.