Publication: CD Now

Article: Sound Design v.2 Review

Author: Christine Hsieh

Reference: December 20.01


For all its Midwestern blandness, Chicago will always be a city of house music.  With a constant outpouring of talent – from such legends as Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles to the modern-day likes of Derrick Carter and Mark Farina – there’s always someone waiting in the wings, ready for their place in the annals of house.


Mark Grant is one such DJ.  Currently, he spends his Monday nights holding down the fort with DJ Lego at Boom Boom Room, maintaining one of the most popular house nights for those in the know and showing the city how to get down without losing their souls to corporate house-by-numbers crap.  With “Sound Design v. 2,” Grant neatly packages his trademark seductive energy into a tasty, 73-minute mix sure to please house heads everywhere.


Grant eases the listener into the mix with subdued, relaxed numbers full of emotion and infectious cheer.  He boots Le Grande Boofant’s “Bacon Mohican” into a superbly funky tune by overlaying the “Caliman Remix” of the track with Eddie Amador’s Rise (Preacher-pella).”  The end result is an uplifting moment spiced with bright, heart-lifting horns: this is one man who knows how to control a crowd.


The disc starts to pick up momentum with Inland Knight’s “Feel This Way,” a groovy, filtered disco-house exercise, and Freak Sensation’s “Kickflip,” a hard-hitting stgormer complete with 303 stabs and meandering, low-tech synths.  But Grant as Jerome Sydenham and Kerri Chandler’s “Deconstructed House (Phase 1)” capture the energy and euphoria of a club gone mad.  This is peak-hour house adorned with chanting, lush strings and flamenco-tinged guitar.


Strong contributions from Atmosfear Milton Jackson and M Trax complete this stellar of wholesome house goodness.  Ending with a Masters at Work remix of The Pasadena’s “Round and Round,” Grant kindly takes the listener back to calmer territory.  Overall, “Sound Design v.2” provides a lip-smackingly good mix that showcases Grant’s keen ear for less commercial tunes and his finely trained sense of what works on the dancefloor.