Mark Farina "Mushroom Jazz 5" (Om Records)

Oh hell yeah, funky white boy Mark Farina is back in the mix and he’s feeling mellow once again. Its been over 2 years since the last installment of the cultishly followed Mushroom Jazz series, and let’s face it, heads have waited long enough.
Mushroom Jazz began back in Chicago when Farina was still playing in the small rooms of clubs and decided to go for the chill vibe instead of competing with the big boom of the main room. He then started laying down his sound on mixtapes locally which became increasingly popular and hence the beginnings of the Mushroom Jazz phenomenon began.
Musically, Farina draws heavily on the most blunted of hip hop beats, looking, this time, to producers such as Pete Rock, Sound Providers, Foreign Exchange and other soul and jazz influenced folk from which to select head nodding instrumentals and blending them into a magical soundscape. Vocals and crafty knob-twiddling (the finer points of which are somewhat lost on non-twiddlers like myself, but damn don’t it sound nice?) are utilized where appropriate to maintain interest. Other highlights from this particular installment include Shortie No Mas’ You Like My Style, Zion I’s Flow(instrumental), Red Astaire’s Come Down and numerous others mellifluous head-nodders.
Although downtempo compilations are all over the place these days, nobody really does it quite like Farina. Mushroom Jazz is still the must-have soundtrack for the more reclined moments in your life.

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