Note: The 5 Magazine DJ Series was a monthly CD series released in a limited edition from March 2007 to November 2008. We featured mixes from legends such as Frankie Knuckles, Gene Hunt and Terry Hunter to the next generation of hard-working Chicago House Music heroes, distributed for free on CD in the Chicago area.
Mark Grant: 5 Magazine DJ Series
Having Mark Grant on board to mix the December 2007 edition of the 5 Magazine DJ Series is more than an honor. It was Mark, after all, who might be one of the indirect reasons that this magazine has a House Music scene to cover. Not only was he the man behind the mix of the best-selling A Taste of Cajual – widely regarded as the most successful commercially-released House Music mix CDs of all time – but he is also widely credited (including by yours truly) as the producer who perhaps more than any other resuscitated vocal House in the 1990s when tracks and a harder sound were dominating dancefloors.
Since those days, Mark has released a string of Deep House hits, including “Shame” featuring Swaylo, 2007’s landmark “Guessin’ Again” with Russoul and, just last month, “Satisfaction” featuring the inspirational vocals of Dajae.
On the DJing side, there are few more qualified to discuss the philosophy behind the trade than Mark. “Every DJ wants the audience to dance and enjoy there music, but not dictate it – at least a DJ who considers themselves an artist,” he told us. “When I’m spinning, I have to establish my groove first, and keep it flowing. I play songs for the crowd and ones that I think they should know. My quest is to keep them happy and me happy at the same time.
“When I’m doing a mix, I usually grab some of the cuts I know I want on the CD and start programming. I’m looking for which blends flow the best together, and for different ways to make the dopest blend. Once, someone made a comment about one of my mix CDs, basically implying that I mixed it with a computer. I laugh, because that was the biggest compliment. I have and always will mix my CDs live – maybe rehearsed, but always live (practice makes perfect). What you hear recorded can be performed live. I’ve only use the computer to edit songs down to fit on a CD, smooth out levels, and index.”
5 Magazine’s monthly DJ Series mix is available in limited promo CDs around Chicago and on our website at 5chicago.com.