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Mark Farina, King Sunshine Bring the House Party Om

Mark Farina, right, with Questlove, left, at WMC 2004 (source)

DJ Mark Farina, a pioneer of the Chicago house sound and perennial favourite of dancers and critics alike, will be pack his big sounds into an immense venue this weekend. The San Francisco-based beat maestro's oft-quoted mission statement: "I look at my job as a modern-day traveling minstrel, to bring new music to as many places as I can, and expose obscure records that otherwise might go hidden." He's made good on that with more than a decade of releases and remixes -- including the popular Mushroom Jazz series, on which he made seamless transitions between deep house, hip-hop and downtempo look easy -- and countless globe-trotting appearances. "House of Om", Farina's latest, marks his long-awaited contribution to the Om Records series; the disc officially hit stores yesterday. Fresh off his WMC 2007 appearance in Miami, Farina is widely considered the label's flagship DJ.

Along with headliner Farina, who last hit The Docks (and Toronto) in July 2005, a few other local faves are featured on the bill:

Disco-funk act King Sunshine, a nine-piece outfit that emulates a DJ set with their complement of live horns, bass, vocals and rhythm section, serves as the non-turntable performance leading into Farina's always-epic mixes. With "Second Movement", their second full-length release last October, the group's recent and upcoming tour dates include stops in Montreal, Ottawa and Brooklyn.

Felix and Gani, DJ-radio host-podcaster-promoters of milk. renown, will tag-team a set of assorted beats as per usual. On another note, their compadres with a hip-hop twist, DJs Fathom and Serious have been turning heads (with assists from Gani's bro Izzy) in a new venue, The Social, where their New Kicks Wednesdays, a raucous night of hip-hop and assorted beats, migrated after Gypsy Co-op closed its doors.

I'm no great fan of the Docks, and I know I'm not alone, but sometimes deliberations about patronizing such a venue only get you so far when it comes to top-level electronic dance music (and Youtube clip that shows him boppin' along isn't my pick for his best mix evar). If ever I could find a time to give the place another chance, this is it.

DJ Mark Farina
with King Sunshine band live,
DJs Felix and Gani, Andy Roberts and more
Saturday April 14
at The Docks, 11 Poulson St.
Doors 10PM, 19+ event
$20-25 advance tickets, more info here


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