Gene Farris lives and breathes house music. A bonafide Chicago legend, he’s been pushing musical boundaries for over three decades, from spinning at underground warehouse parties in the early 90s to working with the current crop of world-leading labels and artists. Relief, Dirtybird, Circus, ViVa Music, Defected, Repopulate Mars: all have released and championed Gene Farris records over the past few years, alongside his own Farris Wheel imprint: a testament to the quality and relevance of the music he creates. Farris has become a go-to collaborator for many high calibre artists, including Sub Focus, Cajmere, Green Velvet, Loco Dice, John Summit, Riva Starr, Mark Knight and Jamie Jones, further establishing Farris as a rare and highly sought-after talent.
Gene started his career spinning vinyl – a mix of acid house and disco – and was one of The Power House’s first resident DJs, as well as a residency at Chicago’s infamous Boom Boom Room spanning eight years. A move to Europe followed, with Gene holding down a four-year residency at Jimmy Woo in Amsterdam, after which he hit the studio with a profound sense of innovation and a desire to make music that moved both him and others.
As a self-taught engineer and producer, his work with Cajual, Relief Records, Defected Records, Soma Recordings and his own breakout label Farris Wheel Recordings, propelled his influence into ever expanding realms. His catalogue is vast, varied and consistently inspired, with notable releases including collaboration ‘It’s Time’ on EMI with drum and bass heavyweight Sub Focus, ‘Play’ on Snatch!, ‘LOL’ on Relief and 2015’s ‘Move Your Body’, which was one of the biggest club records of the year. Similarly impressive was Gene’s ‘Welcome To Chicago EP’, which after its release on Defected Records back in 2003, quickly became a cult classic.
In 2016, Farris took his penchant for collaboration to new creative heights with the release of In The Screen: a studio album that included co-productions with a staggering roster of talent, including Loco Dice, Jesse Rose, Mihalis Safras, Dajae and many more released to critical acclaim with widespread DJ and radio play. 2022 saw Gene enter the studio to commence work on his first full body of work in seven years. The album, set for release in 2023, promises to be highly collaborative and sees him return to his disco roots while being elevated into the modern day with powerhouse vocalists including Alex Mills, Anabel Englund and Emily Makis to name a few.
The last 12 months have seen Gene debut at EDC Las Vegas and Space Miami, as well as support SIDEPIECE at Hollywood Palladium, Fisher at Prysm Chicago on New Year’s Eve, and Meduza in Montreal; adding to his accolade of live appointments including Splash House Festival, Arc Festival, Movement Detroit, Dirtybird Campout, Spring Awakening, Beyond Wonderland, Fisher’s Catch & Release Tour, AMF Festival, Hi Ibiza and Ministry of Sound London. Launching his own events including Farris Wheel parties, FW Presents Carnival Nights, and Gene Farris & Friends, with past guests including Black Coffee, Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping and Roger Sanchez – Gene is undeniably a major player on today’s electronic music scene.
As someone who has never paid mind to the restrictions of genre – probably due to his eclectic DJ beginnings, Farris moves effortlessly between all shades of house, techno and disco, making him at once accessible and unpredictable: a rarity in the often rigorously shoe-boxed world of electronic music. Long may he continue to surprise and delight us all.