Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mark Farina @ Karma - April 4, 2009

Parking in that area of the city is just horrible, if you don’t know where to park, what I was not expecting was the big line up to get in, and this was for ticket holders. It was nice to see some familiar faces at the door, fabulous Dom was one of the people greeting you at the door, and also more familiar faces in the coat check area. By the time we made it in I was beginning to feel like home, crazy eh?

The place is small, but big enough for a nice party, did not make it to the mezzanine level because I think that is the VIP area, I thought about going up, but stopped when saw a security guy at the bottom of the stairs, and I don‘t think this guy was going to let me in.

Looked up and noticed those wonderful details in the ceiling, typical of an old building - loved the high ceiling - then I could not stop starring at the numerous different size disco balls hanging over the undefined dance floor. Never mind the sculpture of 4 people with their arms hanging over the bar, which is located on the left side of the place. The DJ booth is located right at the end of the room, perfectly centered so everyone can see it, and if this is not enough, there is a giant mirror located right in the back wall, have fun trying to use the mirror to find out what the DJ is doing, or maybe to see yourself on it. Two screams are located in each side of the deck, where different images, adds et al. are projected all night long.

Made it to the room a bit after midnight, which was just in time to witness the transition to Mark Farina from Peter Anthony - don’t know how Peter played, but the crowed was pumped by the time Farina took over. Sounds of trumpets were the first thing I think I heard, and after that it was total nirvana.

It was just unbelievable to be treated with music by one of the most admired and finest house music deejays. The explosion of sounds, the way music was mixed, the wave of tunes that hit gently your body. Everything just made me so happy all night long, and looking around I could see how almost everyone was feeling the same.

Mark Farina has released several cds under the name Mushroom Jazz, and the first thing you might ask is what is that? It is exactly how I felt after having experienced one of the most fascinating, and vibrant displays of house music in a long time, really, what was that? . Farina’s music at Karma was a mix of different type of beats: jazz, soul, soft funk, minimal, groove house, Latin, hip hop(ish) and many others I can’t even describe. The most interesting part of that, was not the different beats, but how they were all mixed together, I don’t think there are many people that could pay so much attention to the minimum details on how to bring everything into one amazing style of sound as Farina did. The music was easy to dance, giving your body a spontaneous rush of energy that kept me dancing all night long.

One thing I did not like, were those tables located on the right hand side of the place, personally I would get rid of them, creating more space for people to dance, and perhaps creating a nice flow for the people moving around the area. The place was super packed at the beginning, and it was hard to find a good area to dance, nevertheless it was nice that almost everyone was moving with the music, because this way you avoid hitting anyone that was just standing with your dance moves. Although the place was busy, I did not find the people to be pushy, it was kind of nice “bohemian” type of crowd, with some people well dressed but not too much. Karma is ga-y friendly, but don’t expect people to take off their shirts (at least not yet) - now I wonder if it is the same in other nights?

I still have to check Karma when another DJ is spinning, because I understand I cannot generalize how the place really is by being there only once, and for a special night with Mark Farina. I enjoyed my evening at this new place, and I’m definitely going back. Joking with a straight friend of mine, I told her Karma could be a little bit gayer, and she looked at me and told me “can you please give us at least one good place in Montreal to dance?” There you go, thumbs up to Karma, and great job done by the Blended boys with this booking, and finally Mark Farina, you are genius man.

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