Profile: Mark Farina
Occupation Chicago house master.
Chicago you say? He’s certainly not the first quality DJ from that neck of the woods Very true – Chicago has a place in the hearts of anyone who loves real house music. Farina counts Derrick Carter among his friends but also has strong connections to the other capital of electronica, Detroit, releasing his seminal ‘Mood’ (a co-production with Chris Nazuka) on Kevin Saunderson’s KMS Records.
If we’re talking Chicago we’re talking deep house, right? Farina’s style goes beyond just deep, the aforementioned ‘Mood’ is credited as the first ‘ambient house’ track and he spawned his own style which he labelled ‘Mushroom Jazz’.
I’m confused, what have Chicago DJs got to do with fungus? Well mushrooms grow in dark places and Mark’s DJ style flourished in the darker corners of the Chicago scene playing the second rooms in various clubs. ‘As opposed to competing with the house music being played in the other room I decided to play more mellow stuff,’ explains Farina. Moving beyond pure house, mixing in organic jazz and hip hop beats. Soon he had his own Mushroom Jazz club night (Jazid Up) in San Francisco that packed them in every week, despite the fact it ran on a Monday night. The Mushroom Jazz sound now lives on as a series of mix CDs (now on its sixth instalment). ‘I look at my job as a modern day travelling minstrel,’ says Farina, ‘to bring new music to as many places as I can, and expose obscure records that, otherwise, might go hidden.’
Sounds good sign me up, where’s he spinning? At Telefunken, his first appearance in Edinburgh for ten years. So don’t miss out.
Telefunken at Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Fri 17 Jul.