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Mushroom Jazz Originator Mark Farina Does Nocturnal on Saturday

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 scenes in Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco. As such, Farina's life's work is inseparable from the history of the genre in all its geographical and subcultural permutations.

A Chicago native, he grew up listening to early house releases on the radio and in 1988 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 in the next decade.

Sharing a studio and collaborating on their early production work, the duo established 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 U.S. and U.K.

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 downtempo 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 with the jazzy and organic urban sounds of the West Coast. With the increasing cult-like popularity of his provocative new style, Farina would go on to expand his Mushroom Jazz project to include CD releases and accompanying tours under the prestigious San Francisco-based deep house label Om Records.

He's since continued to enjoy international acclaim as a world-class DJ and producer. Farina continues to tour heavily each year and release music prolifically through his own Great Lakes Audio imprint, including regular installments of his signature Mushroom Jazz compilation mixes. Saturday he stops by Nocturnal's Eden Terrace. Mike Miro, Omar G, and a few other guest DJs will spin in support of Farina and keeping the vibe alive during this all-night marathon set that will continue well into the next day.

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Sean Levisman

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