Undoubtedly, SOPHIE is known for her avantgarde pop fixtures and intelligent beat-making. In 2013, however, she started a brand new alias that fixated around the Italo-Disco sound, but with her own unique twist.
This was Sfire.
Sfire was a collaboration between SOPHIE herself and Detroit-based musician, Jeffery Sfire. Being known in the DJ scene as a in-demand Italo-Disco DJ, Jeffery made a name for himself DJing in his home city of Detroit. The real reason how they got together and produced music is not known, however.
In 2013 Sfire put out their first EP, simply titled ‘Sfire’ on Cocktail d’Amore Music. What you’ll be interested to see is that the EP opens up with ‘Sfire2’, hinting at the existence of a first track that hadn’t been released yet. Nevertheless, ‘Sfire2’ is an accumulation of processed kick drums and driving synths that compliment SOPHIE’s vocals on the top line of the track. ‘Sfire3‘ is more of a power-ballad compared to the earlier track, with a slower tempo and a more dramatic use of drum machines and soundscaping.
This EP also came with ‘Sfire 3E‘, a sort of epilogue/interlude track that expanded on the sophistication of the last song in mind.
What you’ll notice throughout listening to these songs is that a lot of them still sound very much like trademark SOPHIE productions. There’s something she does to her tracks that makes them so incredibly recognisable. A lot of musicians nowadays struggle to create such a permanent mark on their music where you could listen to two different ends of someone’s discography and believe it was the same musician.
Two years later, in 2015, Sfire would go on to release a new EP under JIMMY EDGAR’s Ultramajic record imprint, titled simply ‘Sfire 6/7’.
What’s striking about this release is that, while ‘Sfire 6’ is in a similar vein to the other tracks released before, ‘Sfire 7‘ sounds more like a full-fledged SOPHIE track, with more twisted synths that you would find on her main discography.
After the release of this EP, Sfire’s music would see a host of remixes from the likes of John Talabot, Lauer and more.
For three years, this was all that was released from the Sfire duo. 2019 rolled around, however and gave us one of Sfire’s best tracks.
‘Sfire001’ was released on a sublabel under Of Unsound Mind, a record label headed by Skream.
The title track with a feature from the mysterious vocalist, Marcella, is one of Sfire’s greatest tunes they ever put out. Incredible emotions pour out of the deep cuts of this 10 minute long track.
The drab and monotonous vocals from Marcella are really something to write home about. The instrumental version of this track that is half the length doesn’t hold a candle to the original.
When the tom drums explode on impact, there are no words to describe the harmonies that SOPHIE and Jeffery came up with. It’s a shame this song is so incredibly unknown, as it’s probably something you could end a DJ set with and everyone would be happy.
With that, Sfire would not release anymore music and since SOPHIE’s tragic death this year, the likelihood of seeing any other Sfire tracks is unknown.
SOPHIE is technically known for her extensive back-catalogue of unreleased tracks that eventually leak onto the internet and find their way onto forums and YouTube/SoundCloud channels, so hopefully some Sfire music will see the light of day.
Rest in peace, SOPHIE.