Mark Farina

Ministry of Sound Sessions

by Dan Raper

12 November 2006

 

Well, no point in pussy-footing around: Mark Farina’s turn stepping up to the Ministry of Sound Sessions series is a complete disappointment. The house DJ’s famous for his role in Mushroom Jazz and really maximizing the potential of jazz in house music—and rightly so. But on this bloated double disc, jazz is a crutch that adorns a repetitive, tired house sound. When we have such darkly compelling takes on house as the Knife, not to mention the re-rise of disco and the ubiquitous influence of electro, you know dance music has moved far beyond the nn-tsk nn-tsk driven mid-‘90s techno sound. Farina throws everything he has at this mix—from hip-hop to jazzy melodies to fragments of spoken word (this last the most common, as on the cut-up acid talk of Nick Chacona’s “Pool Party”). But throughout, the straining-to-be-free tracks can’t kick this helplessly monotonous beat. On “Going to a Show” by 12, it’s the glitches of minimal techno subverted by the house beat; on Late Night Society’s “Rebalance” it’s Lindstrom-esque space disco subverted by the same. Homero Espinosa’s “Can You Feel Me?” comes closest, with a syncopated percussive effect and vocals tripping over each other in confusion. Farina’s own tracks are no standouts either: echoing with one-note calls of “house”, he seems to be grasping at an idol who’s callously turned the other way.

Ministry of Sound Sessions

Rating:

Topics: mark farina
 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article