THE ELECTRONIC BEAT MARK FARINAMark Farina earned respect on the Chicago house scene, and is now one of the most sought-after deep-house DJs around. Known best for mixing floor-stomping, futuristic tracks, Farina has also received parallel recognition for his Mushroom Jazz CD compilation series, a collection of downtempo beats, dance-floor-inspired jazz, and layered samples.

In 1989 Farina partnered with the now-legendary Derrick Carter, playing out live and releasing the ambient house track "Mood." It sold 35,000 copies and became an underground classic, setting his "accidental job" in motion. Three years later, he and his current manager, Patty Ryan-Smith, created the successful weekly night "Mushroom Jazz," which, after three years, blossomed into the CD series and accompanying tours. More recently he released Connect, a DJ mix of his underground house picks; Mushroom Jazz 4 will be out this month. Farina is back on the road in support of both releases.

"I'd say that 'Mushroom Jazz' is my alter ego," Farina explains for those who only know him for his uptempo house sets. For many, the connection between jazz and contemporary electronic is still a huge rift, which he says he attempts to mend. "This is a good way for people to ease their way into making that connection," he says. For fans already familiar with the Mushroom Jazz series, Farina elaborates on what to expect live: "On Mushroom Jazz 4, I had more access to music that I like. You'll probably hear some instrumental hiphop, jazz, and a little house. I'm basically just trying to bring out that smoky-jazz-club vibe."

With so many cynics suffering from the "It was so much better back in the day" syndrome, Farina avoids resting on past laurels that he could easily exploit--especially within a music community where 10 years ago is considered antiquity. I asked Farina how he keeps the critics at bay and stays stimulated. He humbly states, "I'm inspired by so much new music that is coming out--also just by working on my own tracks and getting better at creating ones that represent my influences." NICOLAE WHITE

Mark Farina w/Nasir, Tues Nov 12 at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $12.