DJ Mark Farina Biography

Chicago, Illinois, USA. One of the leading DJs on the San Francisco, California, USA house scene, Farina originally fell in love with dance music in the mid-80s. By 1988, Farina was searching the record bins to build his collection, and it was at the renowned Chicago DJ record shop, Imports Etc., that he bumped into another up-and-coming DJ, Derrick Carter. Soon after, a friendship blossomed. What began as a mere hobby for Farina soon turned far serious however (as he was able to focus solely on building his record collection, by living rent-free with his parents). Farina later shared an apartment with Carter, as the duo began working together on tracks (often alongside another DJ, Chris Nazuka), and began to soak in the two leading US techno scenes, their home town of Chicago, as well as Detroit, Michigan.

Farina and Carter made their recording debut under the moniker Symbols And Instruments in 1989. A recording that is often heralded as one of the first ‘ambient’ releases, Mood proved to be a sizeable hit in both the USA and the UK (selling close to 40, 000 copies worldwide, and landing in the year’s Top 50 for the Face magazine). Farina began touring the world, as well as focusing on other dance styles, eventually creating a style that would one day become his trademark, ‘mushroom jazz’. The name would also be used for a cassette series that Farina would launch in 1992, by which time the DJ was making quite a name for himself on the west coast, resulting in his relocation to San Francisco, California. Along with partner/manager Patty Ryan-Smith, Farina created his own San Francisco Monday night dance club also called Mushroom Jazz. Opened for a successful three-year stretch, Farina eventually shifted his focus towards making albums, including an interactive CD-ROM for OM Records, titled Mushroom Jazz. Further volumes of the Mushroom Jazz series followed, as well as other mix releases.

Farina continues to tour the world regularly (supposedly 200 shows a year), while still racking up the accolades, such as being voted one of the Top 20 DJs in the world by Muzik and BPM magazines.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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