Monarch presents: Luke Solomon | Mark Farina | Dj M3 | Mike Cashen |

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Luke Solomon (Classic/Little Creatures/Defected, UK)

Mark Farina (GLA, SF)

Mike Cashen (loPro HiFi, SF)

In the Lounge:
dj M3 (Green Gorilla Lounge, SF)


Luke Solomon (Classic/Little Creatures/Defected, UK)

No-one could debate Luke Solomon’s dance music credentials. From setting up the seminal label Classic Recordings with Derrick Carter to taking quirky house to the UK Top 10 and international charts, with his band Freaks, to DJing around the globe and performing live, Luke has been there for many of the more interesting 4/4 moments of the last decade.

After kicking off his DJ career at Middlesex University in the early 90’s, it wasn’t long before Luke was moving in the upper reaches of house music. A gig with Derrick Carter led the two to become friends, after which Classic Recordings was born. For 9 years, the label introduced the world to the likes of DJ Sneak, Tiefschwarz, Isolee and Freeform 5 and garnered a cult following until distribution difficulties led to the last single issuing forth in 2006.

Running alongside this was the birth and growth of Freaks, the production team Luke started with Justin Harris in 1996. Under the Freaks moniker, Luke & Justin have turned out a slew of singles and longplayers on their own Music For Freaks imprint to include the albums, The Beat Diaries, Meanwhile Back At The Disco and The Man Who Lived Underground. These albums spawned some of Freaks seminal singles such as Turning Orange, Where Were You When The Lights Went Out and of course their huge underground hit, The Creeps. They have also found themselves remixing the likes of Alison Limerick, Pulp, Damon Alban, Kasabian, The Streets & Duran Duran.

After a bidding war between the majors for The Creeps, Ministry Of Sound snapped up the 4 year old track and released it into the mainstream with a new quirky vocal from Freaks singer Stella Attar. But as the dance puritans sharpened their claws, what does Luke have to say on achieving a No 9 UK chart hit and potentially being accused of “selling out” ?

“It was a weird one for me. When Ministry picked it up, we said fine but we want to write a new vocal for it which we did. Let’s face it you get bands like Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx and it’s all credible music which hits the charts and the radiowaves. They all have their own take on what they do and it works and I don’t think there’s any reason why Freaks can’t do that aswell.”

However, besides having chart success throughout the world and running a successful label, Luke really feels like his own career is just beginning. As a solo artist he has had releases on a variety of labels to include the very respected Crosstown Rebels. His 1st artist album “The Difference Engine” was released in 2008 on Radio Slave’s much applauded Rekids label. A sprawling trip of an album, the 13 tracks span all manners of genre and moods with the dancefloor energy offset by an experimental ambience not normally associated with house. While Solomon productions of old were filled with an off kilter sense of fun, there is a serious side to “The Difference Engine” that belies the cheerful confidance of the man behind it. The personal feel of the album is further fuelled by the lyrical content and one of the standout moments is “The Darkest Secret”, a track featuring Earl Gateshead of Trojan Soundsystem and reminiscent of John Cooper Clark, the 70’s punk poet. For Luke, Earl was an obvious choice to work with as he filled the role of the poet perfectly, so they ended up writing the song together in an ice cream shop in Chalk Farm !

The Difference Engine received high praise amongst the UK’s music journalists and saw The Guardian featuring the album in it’s revered review section.

“The Difference Engine finds Solomon indulging his passion for acid house, detroit techno and post-punk without ever being in thrall to them. It is a relaxed, loose limbed affair, inventive and astonishingly hooky, at times reminiscent of a less mannered, less middle-aged LCD Soundsystem.” Alex Macpherson

This album led Luke to team up with Damian Lazarus on his own artist album and Luke co-wrote and co-produced a selection of tracks for the longplayer, working alongside the highly talented Arthur Jeffes, son of Simon Jeffes from the hugely influential, The Penguin Café Orchestra. The album entitled, “Smoke The Monster Out” has since been released worldwide via Get Physical Records, based in Berlin, and as Dazed and Confused noted “It is a truly inventive, deviant and uncompromising” piece of work.

But what does the future hold for Mr Solomon. Well besides continuing to travel around the world to DJ (playing the likes of Panama Bar, Berlin, Fabric, London, Moxa Club, Italy, Zukunft, Switzerland, D-Edge, Brazil) releasing new material from Freaks on Rebirth Records, creating a new club moniker, Lukatron which will see it’s first release on Quintessential and continuing to remix under Luke Solomon and Freaks guises, Luke has also just finished recording his 2nd artist album “ Timelines” which features the likes of Jon Marsh from The Beloved, Tiger,Tiger & Natalie Broomes on vocals.

So whether it’s a second coming or not, one things for sure, Luke’s credentials are most certainly not to be argued with.

Mark Farina (GLA, SF)

Modern day record minstrel, Mark Farina, has thrilled crowds globally, entertaining over 1 million fans per year. As one of the most ubiquitous DJs in Dance Music, Farina's known for both his unique style of mixing Jazz, Downtempo and House Music as well as being the creator of Mushroom Jazz: West Coast jazzy, organic productions combined with East Coast Hip-Hop, Urban beats.

Drawing from his vibrant youth, which included being a trumpet player in marching band, a drummer in a nu wave cover band and a guest DJ, Friday nights on WNUR (Chicago), Mark found his passion for the luscious world of vinyl, turntables and nightclubs. At 16, Farina began his DJ career as a resident at Chicago's underage mecca, Medusa's. At the same time Mark joined forces with emerging DJs Derrick Carter and Chris Nazuka then moved into a loft space called Rednail. Rednail became infamous not only for raucous parties but also as the home to the trio's first productions under the moniker, Symbols & Instruments. Their release,"MOOD," sold 35,000 copies in the US & UK and is credited as "the first ambient house track."

Farina relocated to San Francisco in 1992. Fans embraced Mark's downtempo style and he started co-hosting a weekly Mushroom Jazz club night in ‘93. In 3 short years, Farina established a fanatical, cult-like following for his Mushroom Jazz sound and in 1996, OM Records released the first mixed comp CD, simply titled, Mushroom Jazz. Since then, Mark has released 7 volumes of Mushroom Jazz with 2013 marking the 20th anniversary of the series. Other notable releases include OM’s Seasons, San Francisco Sessions Vol. 1, Connect, House of Om, Live in Tokyo, and Fabric 40.

When Mark's not touring the world, headlining festivals including Harbourlife (Sydney), Southport Weekender (UK), DEMF (Detroit), Coachella (CA) and T in the Park (Scotland), you're likely to find him in his studio working on new releases or podcasts for his label, Great Lakes Audio. On days off he'll be cruising his '68 Toronado with his son, Dylan (aka "little peanut"), and his Yorkie, "Pumpkin".

Voted as one of the top DJ's in the world by URB, MUZIK and BPM magazines, Mark Farina's taste making skills continue to turn the heads of seasoned Dance Music veterans as well as newcomers to the scene.

Mike Cashen (loPro HiFi, SF)

It was during the Bay Area rave golden era in the mid 90’s that Mike became engrained into dance music culture. At the turn of the millennium is when Mike started collecting vinyl focusing on the deep house genre that he followed very closely since the 90’s. He also collected other genres of dance music that ranged from techno to the many flavors of down tempo. With his collector first attitude it allowed him to quickly build a record collection classified by tempo that contained unique dance records that defined his style. Mike’s versatile sets contain mixes that contrast musical genres so they appeal to discerning eclectic crowds as well as create the right mood for every setting.

By 2006 Mike turned his attention to throwing parties in San Francisco that included Houze This, BUMP-N-IT and Assemblage. Those parties featured Claude Von Stroke, Demarkus Lewis, Justin Martin, Lawnchair Generals, JT Donaldson and more. During that time Mike also showcased his genre spanning sets at various clubs in San Francisco as well as held residency for Funky Tekno Tribe. The recognition Mike received as a deep house dj also had him playing parties alongside with dj Sneak, Mark Farina, Jay West, and more.

Most recently Mike has played parties like Apex, Mushroom Jazz, Sewdown, Housepitality and Flammable while still focusing on cutting edge dance music that peak the interest of the most finicky dance music enthusiast.


dj M3 (Green Gorilla Lounge, SF)

Manny staked his everlasting claim in the Bay Area music community in 1990 as a key promoter and DJ, roles for which he took on the abbreviated appellation of M3, short for “Makes Me Move”. Begun as a fluid, down-tempo approach, M3 eventually evolved his sound to the expression of house and techno bangers he is known for today. Manny quickly developed his own legendary party brand Green Gorilla Lounge and progressed to sharing the decks with industry icons with bookings across the globe. This further developed Manny’s acumen for rhythm and cultural finesse, priming him for several collaborations with Phil ‘Rene’ Collis of Bachelor’s of Science and setting the stage for their alliance as the stealthy duo Sleight of Hands. Having seen releases through his own label Green Gorilla Lounge, as well as Smoke ’N’ Mirrors, Om, Sirenum, and Chillin’ Records. M3 has notably performed at the San Francisco Treasure Island Music Festival 2014, Outsidelands 2013, and Coachella 2013 as Sleight of Hands.

With past projects including the Tweakin’/ Black Pancake record shop and Triple Crown Nightclub under his belt, Manny has moved forward embodying his passion for music as of the Father of record label Green Gorilla Lounge and co-owner of SF nightlife staple Monarch nightclub along with Chris Smith of Om Records.When not in the studio, M3 can be found tearing it up pushing his signature sound DJing in clubs, bars, and undergrounds all over the city. Presenting with Green Gorilla, Manny also co-hosts the annual “Fully Loaded” in collusion with the infamous Sunset Crew. Suffice it to say, there is no doubt M3 is thoroughly invested in his lifelong relationship with the 1s and 2s. Looking to the future- M3’s collaborative project Sleight of Hands is looking forward to a release this April 2015.



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