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Mischief- Featuring Mark Farina - 3.12.2005

Author: Persia Hill
Thursday, 8 December 2005
Venue - HiFi Bar

Mark Farina is often described as a 'Melbourne favourite'. He's a jet setting DJ that regularly showcases his particular style of 'Mushroom Jazz' and jackin' Chicago House sets to all corners of the globe. Although I had not had the chance to see him play I was eagerly anticipating his set at Mischief due to the high praise he received from everyone that has the chance to witness his sets. With a strong local line-up as support, I knew it once again would once again be a quality, memorable house night that the Mischief crew are now renowned for.

For the event we were told to enter via the rear entrance of High-Fi bar. I don't really know what the reasoning was for that, perhaps it was to make the event seem more exclusive or underground, or to feed the House devotees egos-- Unfortunately, lining up in a long queue and walking down an alley way lined with garbage bins did not lure me into a false perception that I was entering a new exclusive venue.

Arriving at around 12:00, the place was already packed and steamy, with plenty of House music devotees all glammed up with high hair and even bigger attitudes. To escape the heat we went upstairs to see Pauli Curtin. He was playing plenty of Electro House with popular current tracks such as Tiga's You Gonna Want Me. It was a nice relief from the sweltering heat and crowd downstairs that was already forming.

Mark Farina was playing a 5 hour set, starting at 2 and I hoped that I would be able to last until 7 am! Prior to Farina, Matt Wilko was helped to build up the music and drama for Farina with throbbing house beats. He managed to work the crowd up so much that when Farina appeared everyone was screaming and cheering.

Farina arrived full of energy, and this continued through the night. The whole time I was watching him I did not see him stop rocking and bopping to the beats and he maintained a massive smile on his face. It's great to see that a DJ that has been playing so long and has such a huge fan base has not let his ego get to him, and still knows how to have a great time on the decks.

From the onset it was obvious Farina takes great effort in ensuring consistency in his song selection in order to cement himself with a signature style and sound that sets him apart from any other DJ. His technique involved maintained a constant underlying rhythm and sound throughout his set - something which only a handful of DJs manage to successfully achieve. This also helps to keep the audience captive - that constant beat is just so addictive. He lured everyone in from the beginning, ensuring no one had a choice BUT to move, and it was quite captivating to watch.

In regards to track selection, he managed to mix contemporary house classics with rarer tunes, introducing a huge breadth of musical styles. Bootleg pop and hip hop tracks by such artists as Missy Elliot, Jamiroquai and INXS's amazing Original Sin were received with a huge reaction. There was also plenty of vocal, funky house with and a lot of melodic build up at the beginning to rev the crowd up. His style of house had lots of throbbing jazzy beats, with an insatiable groove in the slower moments.

Farina managed to keep the same funky pace for the first half of his set and then the music started slowing down as he introduced a 'chugging' beat. Now I was thinking, 'this is a bit too slow and boring for my liking', then all of a sudden he belted out the sound effect of a steam train- first slowly chugging then the full hollering and whistling- the crowd went absolutely wild and Farina threw back to a track with a faster, funkier and chunkier pace.

Unfortunately, I was unable to last the full five hours- the sweltering heat and lack of ventilation at Hi Fi Bar made the night exhausting experience and I was forced to leave about an hour before he finished. Hi Fi really need to do something about their cooling system, it was not even a hot night.

Even though I di
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