Personnel: Sean Hayes, El Busby (vocals); Enzo Garcia (banjo).
Arrangers: Kaskade; Mark Farina.
The man behind the trippy Mushroom Jazz series releases his first collection of all original material, the exotic, strange, and funky Air Farina. It's mostly quirk and jerk, but Farina is a talented man with an excellent sense of melody and flow. His ability to pull hooks out of stutters and stops makes him a more soulful and accessible brother of Aphex Twin; you can hum along with him while wondering, "How did he do that?" Farina must have found some old airline flight instruction LP and he uses bit and pieces throughout. Tracks are seamlessly mixed together and the ongoing flight theme makes this a journey you'll want to stick with the whole way through. Chicago house's influence on Farina is obvious, but like Fatboy Slim, he also has a sly, upfront sense of humor with his samples. The occasional downtempo number (like the tropical "Dream Machine") breaks up the album just enough and an especially boisterous rap from People Under the Stairs sweetens the deal. Air Farina shows he's just as good a producer as a DJ, and one hopes he gets a little less close-fisted with releasing his own tunes. ~ David Jeffries