Mark Grant first garnered attention for his work with the Cajual Records label, founded by Cajmere (AKA Curtis Jones, whom many also know as Green Velvet, the flamboyant, costume-adorned acid house/techno DJ). Grant and Cajmere released "Dancin'" under the name Chicago Connection; the track featured a sample from the Stephanie Mills song "Put Your Body in It," and quickly became a house classic. Next Grant mixed the Cajual sampler A Taste of Cajual, which secured him recognition on a national level. Though Cajual suddenly folded in 1997, Grant's work with the label set him in motion for a productive career playing out, remixing, and producing. "Jazzy Kinda Sum'n," a smooth deep-house cut with that characteristic Chicago kick-drum thump and snare skip, found its way onto Ben Watt's first Lazy Dog album, as well as a handful of other international mix compilations. Grant can still be found in his weekly resident slot at the Red Dog club for one of Chicago's finest house nights (with DJ Lego, who recently rocked the fuck out of a Life party in Seattle), which he sandwiches within a rigorous touring schedule.
Recently, Grant paired up with San Francisco's Om Records. He says his Sound Design Vol. 2 for the label was designed to be the "perfect" mix compilation, showcasing his current ear for a variety of tracks. The album explores an array of styles--from classic and soulful to jazzy to Latin and bangin', catering to listeners and DJs who like a smooth, mature style (and to anyone who admires world-class house mixing). Grant also has two recent tracks out: "Hey You" (also on Om) and "MG's Groove" (on Deep Funk Records' The Inner City Experience Vol. 2 EP), both of which represent his love for funky, jazz-inspired productions. NICOLAE WHITE
Mark Grant w/Wesley Holmes, Jon Lee, and Brent Lawrence, Fri Jan 10 at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10.