Mark Farina: Mushroom Jazz Returns?

Imagine a down-tempo fusion of hip hop instrumentals, funk classics, acid jazz and some curveballs, all liberally soaked in lysergic acid diethylamide, and you’d be getting there. While the UK had the snappier (and now perhaps discredited) trip hop, in the US, ‘mushroom jazz’ became firstly a compilation series and latterly, a quasi-genre. Its architect was Mark Farina, a second-generation Chicago DJ who rose up in the wake of the house gold rush of the late 1980s, alongside peers like Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, DJ Heather and Mark Picchiotti. Although Farina is at least as well known for his deep house sets, his reputation as a DJ par excellence was built on the Mushroom Jazz series, which this year marks its 20th anniversary (and eighth in the series). We caught up with the San Francisco-based DJ to ask him about his fungal funk mixes, the early industrial scene in Chi-town and the impact of EDM. Continue reading