Farina, Live at Nordic Lounge


Just as he can put fire under the heals of the catatonic, Mark Farina can sooth even the most neurotic soul with his down tempo sets. His live set at Nordic Lounge in Vancouver brings standard to the downtempo mixer genre. It's in this 47 minutes that you sense the difference between a DJ who wings it and riffs off energy to"sell something to" people, and one who takes care to account for what the end user feels.

As is usual, it takes a few minutes to warm up to what Farina's doing. I've learned to just put my finger at my lip and say "hmm, okay, and?" Until suddenly, the set opens up, as it does every time. I think he does this on purpose---he simply must---to build anticipation.

In this case, he hits the heart early, 4:00, with a track that features a Latino vocal that repeats and echoes and makes you feel at once like you are on a tropical island and in an igloo. I can't explain beyond this, you just have to hear it.

At 6:50 he flips the tempo and you go into this magical forest of sound--what sound like nymphs, soothing you onward; a polite rap; some 70s trumpet--you're nowhere you've ever been and you don't, wanna, leave.

This goes on for about 10 mins. Hit 16 and you're listening to a guy sing his soul out bout the ghetto. Chill minus fantasy.

I have to say I could do without 20 through 25:15. But I think it's for some people. Anyway, so 25:15 introduces this a wicked, hopping, triangle-laden, shoulder-shakin track. And it all goes back up from here.

On to the next, you're in the 1930s until about, well, 30. And again he whips the tempo, spinning you through another tunnel of feelings with some gaps of "Cali" ... "Ca-ca-cali" bursting through and vanishing to forcast the "California Sunshine Makes Me High" bit that will soon take over the show, by storm--a welcome and swift transition through pure voice into, at 33:10, a sweet track of beats and melody.

Finally, 36:05 introduces one of my favorite tracks of all time. Totally cheesy but still makes me happy. I try so hard to find it but alas, I have it here if I want it. I know where it is. And now, so do you :)