BY NATTY MORRISON
Chicago native Mark Farina made his mark establishing the down tempo, laid back house genre known as mushroom jazz, which combined aspects of hip hop, jazz and r&b. But on his new EP “Geograffiti,” Farina returns to funk house roots.
Farina wastes no time getting started with the track "That's How," dropping into a straight-ahead house beat and layering swirling polyrhythmic vocal samples with minimal piano chords. The opening song also finds the DJ looping a vocal track of himself, explaining just how he creates his music. It's a fascinating chance to hear an insight into the basis of the artist's creation while grooving along to his pulsing mix. The amount of found vocal samples alone suggests that tracks like this will quickly find their way into any DJ's live arsenal.
The disc effortlessly flows together, mixing gorgeously-voiced female singers, lush jazz environments, deceptively complex poly-rhythms and ecstatic party call-to-arms vocal samples. The highlight of Geograffiti is the track "Talk, Sex." The drums continue to pulse and Farina drops in another minimally crafted piano line. Overhead we hear a harmonized vocal riff, singing the title line. And then come the samples. A space-infused synth line. A tweaked bit of rapper speak. Old school hip hop samples. The song grooves along to its own genius, flippantly offering new layers to the listeners' ears, and then, without warning, dropping them out in favor of newer, fresher samples. Farina builds up and tears down his composition, all while keeping the party going. In the first track, Farina remarks that "...the music settles into a kind of hypnotic rhythm of sound." He knows his music all too well.
To purchase the EP visit Mark Farina’s website.
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