Friday, November 30, 2007

Chicago native DJ back to heat up Chicago's soul

Only months have passed since his last CD was released and DJ Mark Farina is back with more. He arrives this weekend at SmartBar with some hot plates on the decks, straight from his new live album, Live In Tokyo. He talks about the city scene & sound, his new album, his tour, and what else is in the works.-Anthony Regan

How does your new album, Live In Tokyo, compare to what you have created in the past?

A lot of principles are the same, but the ingredients have changed. San Francisco Sessions, for example, I made at home, which is a much different environment. You have to be careful when you record live.

You have to be careful?

Recording a live set you have to be realistic. You need clearance on some tracks. During Live in Tokyo I wanted to use a few I couldn’t because of licensing and legal issues. Damian Marley was on a track I wanted to use but could not for this album.

Do you stick with a plan playing live or is it truly uncontrived?

I am a DJ with no parameter. Live, I try to do an intro, an outro, bring more songs than I need. I’ll feed off the crowd. Chicago can have a knowledgeable crowd so I’ll take requests.

You talk of the crowd’s knowledge of music, what about your own? You got your roots in Chicago starting in late 80’s at clubs like Medusa’s, Orbit Room, and Shelter. Has the sound remained the same?

There has been a fusion of urban mixes, a different twist to the sound here. While having a unique style of House music, there are still basic principles at play.

Speaking of unique style, your Mushroom Jazz collection is considerably off the beaten path. When did the idea arise?

The idea for Mushroom Jazz stemmed from early acid jazz, and early 90’s psychedelic, organic style of music.

Has this venture into a new genre of electronic music been a success?

Yes, definitely. It still does pretty well as far as mixed compilations go. Strangely, that style of music has a different shelf-life than other genres. It has its own sound and therefore has a slower shelf-life.

Can we expect any more Mushroom Jazz from you in the near future?

Actually, I will be releasing another Mushroom Jazz compilation.

Lastly, what do you plan to play this Saturday at SmartBar?

I could do Mushroom Jazz in places like Vancouver, Minneapolis, or like in Japan. Those places don’t have the same background… They will want House.

Saturday, December 1st
Live In Tokyo CD Release Party
Tickets: $15 before midnight,
$20 after midnight
21 & over
Doors: 10pm/Show: 10pm

Photo by Shauna Regan