Two decades ago, Chicago-native Mark Farina began experimenting at his DJ gigs, dropping slower, deeper tracks along the lines of disco classics, acid-jazz, hip hop, and downtempo. In Chicago, which is primarily known as a house music town, his selections were deemed more appropriate for home listening than for the dance-floor. Despite this, Farina continued to develop his sound, which soon after became coined as Mushroom Jazz. A few mixtapes followed, but his experiment-turned-endeavor finally got off the ground in his new home, San Francisco.
Farina juggled between his two residencies of Chicago and San Francisco until he made a permanent move to SF in 1994. He saw opportunities in the city with its vibrant music scene, which featured a slew of promoters catering to fans across a broad spectrum of music styles including hip hop, jazz, house, and reggae to Wicked-style breaks and techno. A couple years before he made his move, he teamed up with Patty Ryan-Smith to throw his own Mushroom Jazz club night.
The Monday night party became an integral part of the SF scene, gathering an eager following for five years. Farina continued the legacy of Mushroom Jazz when he hooked up with Om Records to release his Mushroom Jazz compilation series.
The Mushroom Jazz compilation grew stronger with each volume, with Mushroom Jazz 4 breaking onto the Billboard Electronic chart at #20 in 2002, with Mushroom Jazz 5 appearing moving the needle up to the #12 spot on the same chart in 2005. The momentum continued accumulated with Mushroom Jazz 6 coming in at #1 on iTunes Electronic chart, and to date, cumulative sales of the Mushroom Jazz series have reached over a quarter of a million copies!
The rest, my friends, is history!
“For many downtempo fans, Mushroom Jazz is where it all began.” –BPM
“The most influential American contribution to the laid back beats scene.” –URB
“Mark Farina is an expert in creating seamless downtempo mood pieces.” –FILTER
“Mushroom Jazz sets the benchmark for quality in the field of jazzy soul and hip hop.” –DJ Mag
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