Electronic music evolves so rapidly that you might not expect an artist who sticks to the same style for decades to achieve the renown that Mark Farina has. The Chicago-born, San Fransisco-based DJ has released Mushroom Jazz 8 today on the 25th anniversary of the compilation series, and his music is just as poignant as ever.
Records by artists like Emapea, Freddie Joachim and Slipmat Brothers may not find themselves in mainstream dance music fans' collective queue, but they make for notable additions to the track list of Mushroom Jazz 8. From beginning to end, the album seamlessly transitions from one acid jazz/hip-hop hybrid to the next with each new soundscape painting the whole of the mix in another vibrant shade.
Although Farina's roots in Chicago house extend back to when he met Derrick Carter in a record store in 1988, he came into his own after relocating to San Fransisco and formulating his signature sound by drawing from the more organic vibe of the Bay Area. He coined "mushroom jazz" as a term for the style, and in 1992 kicked off a both a nightclub weekly of its namesake and the compilation series itself.
Upon revisiting the very first Mushroom Jazz - which came out on cassette tape before a 1997 re-release on CD - It bears mention that the purveyors of the genre have stayed true to their sonic origins to an almost unprecedented degree. Hip-hop drum patterns underscore sublime instrumental jazz samples and understated elements of downtempo, with occasional vocal refrains ringing out on the top line.
Considering how little seems to have changed, it's remarkable that the style has echoed through numerous subsets of electronic music and hip-hop over the years. Much of its influence can be found in the various iterations of conscious hip-hop, and even modern bass music fixtures like Pretty Lights, GRiZ and Big Gigantic appear to have taken cues from Farina and his contemporaries.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mushroom Jazz, Farina has also relaunched the event series. The first edition took place on April 20th at Monarch, and they have continued on every third Wednesday of each month.
Mushroom Jazz 8 track list:
"Crawfish & Chips" by QSTN
"Best Believe" by Emapea
"Duke" by DJ Spinna
"Rain Drops" by Freddie Joachim
"Hear It From You" by Freddie Joachim feat. Lauren Santiago
"Strictly Business" by The Slipmat Brothers
"You Dig" by Jenova 7
"Chalkboard" by Jazzual Suspects
"Ride" by Freddie Joachim
"Night Light" by PHWert
"Focus Point" by Fredfades & Eikrem
"Lil Boy" by Riccio
"Orange" by Emapea
"Bright Lights (Instrumental)" by George Kelly Feat. Andre Espeut & BnC
"Economy of Movement" by The Slipmat Brothers
"Body Boogie" by Sunner Soul
"Real Fungi" by Colossus
"Quiet Blues" by PHWert
"Basement Jazz" by Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee
"Blue (Extended)" by The Deli
"Slow It Down" by Colossus
"I Still Don’t (Pt. II)" by Larry de Kat