Three Must-See Acts This Week

Mark Farina (Friday at Public Works), The Funk Hunters (Friday at The Great Northern), and A$AP Rocky (Saturday at Bill Graham Civic Center).

Mark Farina

House/Downtempo

Mark Farina

9:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, at Public Works. $19; publicsf.com

A boundless creative force behind the decks for three decades, Mark Farina is a house music pioneer. With connections to the heydays of Chicago house and Detroit techno, Farina’s fearless musical approach has captivated audiences around the world, and has bestowed upon listeners his signature subgenre, “Mushroom Jazz.” Farina developed his technique while living in Chicago during the late 1980s, where he met house legend Derrick Carter, who would help expand Farina’s musical palate. A breakthrough came in 1989 when he released his hit single, “Mood,” on Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson’s KMS Records. He would soon experiment with jazz-tinged downtempo in the early ’90s, dubbing it Mushroom Jazz. It found a home in San Francisco, whose scene appreciated the psychedelic and carefree nature of Farina’s creation. Farina’s seminal Mushroom Jazz compilation series on record has garnered critical acclaim, but the producer has not ignored his original love for house music, which Farina often embraces with back-to-back DJ sets — or a rare hybrid set in the case of Friday night — of both traditional house and his inimitable brand of Mushroom Jazz.

The Funk Hunters. Photo by Mark Brennan

Electronic/Funk

The Funk Hunters

10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, at Great Northern. $18; thegreatnorthernsf.com

Combining feel-good funk with bass-heavy electronic beats for a unique sound that has captivated festival-goers and listeners around the world, The Funk Hunters have no genre restrictions on their versatile creative approach either live or in the studio. Composed of Nick Middleton and Duncan Smith, the Canadian producers initially bonded over their shared love of dance music and old-school funk, and soon began DJing parties around the coast of British Columbia. The duo would eventually begin producing a string of successful remixes for artists like Selena Gomez and Big Gigantic, along with original singles and collaborations. The Funk Hunters gained a massive following through consistent and energized festival appearances, including Coachella and Burning Man, and have become perennial favorites on the festival circuit with their ever-evolving sound. Last spring saw the release of the production duo’s debut studio album, Typecast, a multi-faceted and adrenaline-laced collection of party-starting bangers that hears the duo with their most fully-realized sound. It was well worth the wait. 

A$AP Rocky. Photo by Mr. iozo

Hip-hop

A$AP Rocky

8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, at Bill Graham Civic Center. $49.50; billgrahamcivic.com

Since the release of his influential 2011 debut mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP., A$AP Rocky has become one of the most dominant figures within hip-hop, with two Grammy nominations and platinum singles like “F**kin’ Problems” and “L$D.” The New York rapper, born Rakim Mayers, began at the age of 9, influenced by fellow Harlem rappers The Diplomats, as well as Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep. After joining Harlem hip-hop collective A$AP Mob, Rocky began making waves on the internet through leaked singles “Peso” and “Trilla.” Both of them found their way onto Live.Love.A$AP, which garnered widespread critical acclaim for its hazy and laid-back atmosphere. Rocky’s long awaited debut studio album Long.Live.A$AP was released in 2013, which established Rocky as one of the leading tastemakers in hip-hop, going platinum in the process. Last year, Rocky released his third album, Testing, an ambitiously experimental effort that hears him expand beyond his creative comfort zone with some exciting appearances from Frank Ocean and FKA Twigs.

 

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