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Record Review - 2 July 18 2001

Om Records earned a stellar reputation by releasing smooth jazzy house compilations mixed expertly by some of San Francisco's top jocks, including Mark Farina and Garth. Now Om continues its series of meditations on deep house by turning to Chicago — the original home of Om star Farina and current home of Om rising star Mark Grant.

Following up a mix by Marques Wyatt, Chicagoan Mark Grant contributes Sound Design, Vol. 2 to Om's catalog. Grant first gained notoriety working with Chicago's Cajual Records — home of eccentric, schizophrenic underground house hero Cajmere/Green Velvet — before moving to Guidance, among other labels. Holding down a six-year residency in Chicago, Grant now lays down a 74-minute set of the types of tracks that earned him his reputation.

Sound Design, Vol. 2 is a seamlessly mixed set of funk and Latin-tinged house. Mixed on three turntables, with a cappellas over transitioning tracks, Sound Design, Vol. 2 follows in the spiritual footsteps of volume one, showcasing several productions by premiere Latin jazz house producers Masters At Work, among others. But Sound Design, Vol. 2 is more consistent, forgoing diva theatrics for percussive frenzy, and for all its swirling madness. Anchored by a thumping 4/4 beat, it never forgoes soul.

Mark Grant spins at eleven50 Sat., July 21.??