Mark Farina/Various Mushroom Jazz 5

It appears we have an early winner of the "Dubious Title of the Year” award. Since when is Mark Farina, America’s favourite mid-tempo DJ? Regardless, stepping away from the house for which he was previously known is probably the best thing he could have done, as this surprisingly rap-heavy acid jazz mix on his Om Records label is for the most part quite good. There is chaff amongst the wheat, of course. Red Astaire’s "Come Down” makes the mix do just that, sadly. And Strange Fruit Project’s contribution would have even a staunch insomniac reaching for the pillow. But then Pete Rock’s "It’s A Love Thing” comes along and it’s happy days. The disc could lose a couple of tracks, and it’d be nice if there was some sort of build from start to finish or maybe even a step outside of the jazzy/hip-hop/down-tempo niche for a track or two. But if you’re looking to sonically power a house party where pot smoking and not dancing is the order of the day, well, you couldn’t really do better than this one. (Om)