In the three decades that he’s been playing parties all over the world, Mark Farina has solidified himself in the world of Dance Music as a trailblazing DJ, Producer, tastemaker, and bona fide House Music icon. He was not only a House Music pioneer in the late 80’s, but Farina also spent the 90s pushing musical boundaries and blended hip hop with downtempo grooves to create an entirely new genre, “Mushroom Jazz”.
Eventually, the he made San Francisco his home and his sets sparked a constant demand in clubs and festivals across the world and, even better, Farina has made Minneapolis and St. Paul a regular spot on his tours. He returns this Friday night thanks to VimLab and the North Loop studio for a private party that includes LYT WARRIOR, Josh Tweed, and Niles Shepard. We quick check-in with Farina before he gets to town.
DISPATCH: We’re stoked that you keep visiting Minneapolis to play shows. What brings you back? You’ve played all over the world, how are the crowds here compared to other places?
Always a pleasure to come back to Minneapolis! Started coming in mid-nineties for Woody McBride raves, to 1st Avenue, then Glam-Slam etc, and always one of my favorite upper Midwest gig towns. People in Minneapolis understand ’the funk’ and know how to get down!
We’ve tried in the past to describe your signature style of ‘Mushroom Jazz’, a very cool combination of House music with Acid Jazz and Urban Beats, but for you what makes it stand out and makes it such a great soundtrack for dance nights?
It’s definitely a good thing to be known for different styles. Between Mush Jazz and House, there’s a variety of tempos that can be raised or lowered, which adapts nicely to different set times, lengths and venues while having similar funk, soul and disco influences.
You’ve been at this for awhile—how has your style changed in the past few decades?
I’d say my principles have kinda stayed the same since the beginning. Always on the lookout for hot new jams and cuts, while sprinkling with various classic bits. Just now there are more classic tracks to choose from.
When you go:
NORTH LOOP STUDIO – 1018 North Fifth Street – Minneapolis