An improbable mushroom erupting between the cracks in a sidewalk is all that is present here of the “mushroom jazz” sound that Mark Farina has been chasing for more than two decades. Isolated Samples is no compilation though, but a record of original material. Mark Farina’s first album in nearly two decades was made mostly during lockdown and — unlike many of the gloomy albums made during that period and released over the last six months — embodies an upbeat and genuinely positive vibe.
Isolated Samples leads off with “To Tha Down,” which alone might serve as an important reminder of how much fun this shit is supposed to be. You could actually clone that sentiment and apply it to all eight tracks here, especially the stomping “MoonShake,” the smiley acid stoner anthem “Don’t Know” and the trip hop-esque “Big Sexy Shuffle.” Each track is crafted out of a half dozen or more samples and held together by a sticky, fat bassline — Mark Farina remains the unchallenged master of this.
“Milwaukee Ave. Loft Party” is different in scope — it seems to actually jam a few bleary nights from the early ’90s at one of those legendary loft locations, shove ’em in a blender with some memorable passages from tracks of the day and record hot-to-tape what comes out in the end.
Mark Farina: Isolated Samples (Robsoul Recordings / July 2021 / Digital)
1. Mark Farina: To Tha Down (06:12)
2. Mark Farina: Know Hey (06:09)
3. Mark Farina: Big Sexy Shuffle (06:37)
4. Mark Farina: MoonShake (05:45)
5. Mark Farina: One (Interlude) (01:52)
6. Mark Farina: Dont Know (06:12)
7. Mark Farina: Milwaukee Ave. Loft Party (08:35)
8. Mark Farina: Got My Snacks (06:32)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo by Exclusive Promo.