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Mark Farina - Sessions (Ministry of Sound)

Sessions: Mark Farina

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

THE latest in Ministry’s Sessions compilations finds Mark Farina following in the footsteps of Josh Wink, Steve Angello and DJ Sneak earlier this year with a rare UK mix album.

The ensuing dance marathon provides nearly 40 tracks of house based dance tracks that, as ever, epitomise the bland and repetitive nature of much of Ministry’s trademark dance scene.

Tracks come thick and fast from the likes of Joss Moog, Colussus featuring Hylton Smythe and DJ Sneak but unless you prefer your Saturday nights out in the super-clubs of London, Miami or the Balaeric Islands, then this is onerous to say the least.

To house and dance fans, Mark Farina has been a figurehead of the US house scene for over 15 years, first cutting his teeth in the now legendary Chicago/Detroit scene in the late 80s.

Working closely with such luminaries as Derrick Carter, Kevin Saunderson and Chris Nazuka, Mark utilized his tight connections and signed to KMS Records in 1989 under the Symbols & Instruments moniker and produced a landmark track called Mood – the first ambient house track ever made.

From there he went on to pioneer the Mushroom Jazz genre in San Francisco, championing a more mellow style of jazzy house and early hip-hop that saw him open the ‘Jazid Up’ club and release a series of mixtape’s that were an instant hit, quickly becoming the official sound of the after-parties at the time.

Mark has now sold well over 100,000 albums worldwide, with the bulk in America.

For the Sessions series, Mark has opted to show his full range of jackin’ beats and provides both a mix up and down that combines deep vocals with rolling drum rhythms and upfront electronics, all with a classic house backbone.

As with all the DJs enlisted for the Sessions series, Mark will be doing a full world-tour to promote his mixtape, which will see him stopping off in Europe, Australia, Asia and, of course, America.

But while the double-album is certainly a more bearable listen than earlier efforts from Steve Angello and Josh Wink, courtesy of its mix of tempos, the result remains a little too one-note for anyone other than die-hard house fans. It continues to be a genre that fails to offer any inspiration for me.

Track listing:

  1. Thrupenny Bits-Colossus Feat. Hylton Smythe [King Kooba’s Thrupenny Glitch Mix]
  2. What?-Lil’ Mark
  3. Jazz Band-Jamanta Crew
  4. Pool Party-Pool Party AKA Nick Chacona [Joshua Mix]
  5. Going To A Show-012 [LCG Mix]
  6. Jealousy-Uneaq
  7. Give Me Every Little Thing-The Juan McLean [Cajmere Mix]
  8. Take Chances-Troydon & Joey Youngman
  9. Melting-Loopity Goofs
  10. Something Right-Chuck Love [JT Donaldson Dub]
  11. Let It Go-Bryan Jones
  12. Stay Tuned-Slater Hogan & Chuck Daniels
  13. Happy-Iz & Diz [Strip Mix]
  14. Family Clone-Project Kidz
  15. Do It Again-Leon Louder
  16. Can You Feel Me?-Homero Espinosa
  17. The Watch-Mark Farina
  18. Room 25-Joss Moog

Disc Two:

  1. Room 25-Joss Moog
  2. Life 2 Live-Layo & Bushwacka [Jesse Rose Remix]
  3. Rebalance-Late Night Society
  4. Desperation-Joey Youngman
  5. Are You Hip-Tracy Cooper Feat. Greenskeepers [Greenskeepers Remix]
  6. Bringin’ It Back-Mark Farina
  7. Does Not Compute-Mike Steele
  8. So Obvious-Gavin Boyce
  9. React Dat Booty-DJ Sneak
  10. Sure Shot-Chris Carrier
  11. Mouth-Iz & Diz [GK Revisit]
  12. 16 Tons-Jabwai [JT Donaldson Mix]
  13. Do It Down-Michael Scott [Magik Johnson Remix]
  14. Change My World-Ryan Jones [Jason Hodges Jazz World Remix]
  15. That’s Right Modern Music-Kenton Slash Demon
  16. Prztz-Southic
  17. Listen To My Music-Sean Dimitrie [Patrick Turner Mix]
  18. You Don’t Have To-Natural Rhythm