Gene Farris

Textures, Vol. 1

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As a DJ, Gene Farris rarely fails to turn over a crowd with his upbeat yet soulful mixture of club hits and underground jams. Yet on his second mix CD, Farris never seems to gather up much steam, rather he plods along with almost no alterations in tempo or dynamic. Composed of tracks culled almost exclusively from his own Farris Wheel record label (the exception being Farris' own "Black Satin," released by Scotland's Soma Records), stablemates Roomsa and Daniel Thompson supply several cuts each, while more established track-slingers like Boo Williams and Greens Keepers each contribute a selection to Farris' imprint. But, as is often the weakness with label-showcase CDs, the signature style of a single catalog becomes repetitive over the long haul. So while it is nearly impossible not to enjoy any of the deep Chicago-looped funk to be found here, it is also improbable that the listener will remain engaged for the whole ride. DJ students will appreciate Farris' keen ear for record blending, and he segues between most tracks over a matter of minutes, not seconds. But this flawless style probably adds to the monotone feel of this mix. One would do better to look to Farris' Booked 002 mix CD to hear him really spread his wings.

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