By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Few artists in the world of electronic dance music can take credit for the sort of self-styled signature sound that has made Mark Farina one of the most original and idiosyncratic DJ/producers of the past 20 years. He's a house music veteran with old ties to the Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco scenes and their most significant artists and collectives. Thus his life's work is inseparable from the history of the genre in all of its geographical and subcultural permutations.
A Chicago native, Farina grew up listening to early house releases on the radio. In 1988, he met legendary DJ and lifelong colleague Derrick Carter at a record store. It was the beginning of a creative partnership that would catapult their careers during the next decade.
Sharing a studio and collaborating on early production work, the duo would also establish important connections between the Chicago house and Detroit techno scenes. That arose mainly through their association with the "Belleville Three": legendary Detroit techno producers Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. In 1989, Farina and Carter released the landmark track "Mood" under the artist name Symbols in Instruments on Saunderson's KMS Records. This pioneering ambient-house classic would go on to sell more than 35,000 copies in the States and the UK.
Farina's experimental forays as an improvisational club DJ and sample wizard led to the development of his unique sound, a chunky-funky, sample-delic hybrid of down-tempo house, hip-hop breakbeats, and vintage soul he dubbed "mushroom jazz." Originally launched as a cassette series and legendary weekly club night in San Francisco, the Mushroom Jazz brand garnered serious attention during the early-'90s acid-jazz boom, which saw a fusion of Chicago house and the jazzy, organic urban sounds of the West Coast. With the increasing cult-like popularity of his provocative new style, Farina would expand his Mushroom Jazz project to include CD releases and accompanying tours under the prestigious San Francisco-based deep-house label Om Records.
He has since continued to enjoy international acclaim as a world-class DJ and producer celebrated by audiences across the globe. Farina tours heavily each year and releases music prolifically through his own Great Lakes Audio imprint, including regular installments of his signature Mushroom Jazz compilation mixes. This Saturday, he'll stop by Nocturnal's Eden Terrace for a highly anticipated performance that is sure to enthrall South Florida's house lovers. Mike Miro, Omar G, and a few other guest DJs will spin in support of Farina and keep the vibe alive during this all-night set that will continue well into the next day.