Publication: Eye Weekly Magazine/ Toronto, Canada

Article: Extended Play/”Catching The Vibe”

Author: Denise Benson

Reference: Vol. 9, Issue 35 / June 8, 2002 / Page 21


“I had friends who were older and could go to the parties when I couldn’t,” recalls Chicago house DJ/producer Mark Grant.  “I’ll never forget the time that I was at a friend’s, playing records all day, then I was on the bus going home, and he was on the bus to see Frankie Knuckles.”


Grant has been DJing for 18 of his 30 years, spinning house and disco at Chicago parties and clubs.  Househeads are familiar with his soulful, funky work, with solo, collaborative and remix joints on the infamous Cajual label.  He’s also produced 12-inches for DanceMania, Underground Construction and Guidance; remixed the work of Braxton Holmes, Glenn Underground, Green Velvet, Julius Papp and others; and had a huge dancefloor smash in his “Dancin” collaboration with Cajmere.  Presently, he and producer friend Andre Harris are starting up a new label, Blackstone Recordings.


Grant currently holds three weekly residencies in Chicago, including at the infamous Red Dog and Mad Bar, and travels to other cities on the regular.  I’m speaking with him the day after his birthday, as he functions on one hour’s sleep and packs for a trek to Scotland.  Still, he’s nice as nice can be as he talks his love for Toronto – where he plays regularly – and for responsive crowds everywhere.  “I love to see people dancing, but it’s also good to have heads bobbing and people vocalizing that you’ve touched them in some way,” he says.  “If someone enjoys what I do, it’s the biggest thing.  That is not to be taken for granted.”


Grant spins lengthy sets, moving between soulful and more pumping house.  “When I’m able to build it up and break it down again, that’s the best,” he says.  “I don’t even look at people for probably the first 30 minutes of a set, because I’m catching my vibe.  I feel like if I start to catch it, you should too.”


Catch Grant’s vibe Saturday (June 10) when Release and Metro team up at Turbo to present Chicago’s Finest, featuring Grant spinning downstairs with Tyler Kerr and Déjà VuDerrick Carter and DJ Sneak pump it upstairs, alongside Myka and John E.