With an early start on Chicago’s south side, his label Farris Wheel Recordings, a Boom Boom Room residency, and appearances everywhere from Ibiza to China, Gene Farris has kept himself strongly rooted in Chicago house while branching out internationally. SmartBlog gets a few questions in with him in advance of his appearance at monthly Acid Test on Wednesday, February 22.

• You’re one of the artists that has successfully bridged your contributions to classic era Chicago house with great and current work. Tell us how your professional experiences now compare with the golden era of Chicago house.
If you mean the early 90’s as the golden era, then ok. :P Just kidding…
Not much actually has changed, in my professional experience, other than the crowd changes about every ten years, I’ve noticed. And so does the music. But what was good back in the day always comes back…

• What equipment are you using to produce these days?
Logic, Reason, Ableton with plugins up the ying yang, and my Mac.
Hardware, just my Juno 106 and my trusty Avalon 737sp and a Akg solid tube mic .

• Hardware vs. software?
What ever works for you… you can’t tell a painter what kind of brush to use, if the painting is hot!

• Acid Test is vinyl-only event; do you still spin with vinyl a lot?
Nope, not that often at all, thats why I’m excited to play Acid Test. Should be fun! I hope a lot of peeps come out and support!

• Do you find that playing with vinyl changes your set at all?
I’m sure it will. I’m gonna play a lot of classics. I think it will be a Relief Records and Cajual Records tribute! I’m excited to go back and dig out some old jams!

• You’ve played at SmartBar many times over the years; can you share any special memories or stories about the club to share?
Man, there are so many great times I had at Smartbar, I can’t count! One of my most fun memorable moments (that I can tell anyway lol) was playing with Mark Farina and Heather down there – I think it was ’07 or ’08, can’t remember – was a really fun night! We all rocked it and everybody was in the building, good times. :)

• What do you have coming up in the future with your own releases and Farris Wheel Recordings?
A lot of goodies. :) I currently have just out with Cajmere “The Black Label EP” on Cajual Records. I think it’s been 6-7 EPs together now, I can’t remember, maybe more. We have been making a lot of great music together these days. Also Farris Wheel was rated in the top 20 Underground House labels in North America for 2011, so thats very good. We also just signed EPs and/or remixes from Sonny Fodera, Gramophonize, Cajmere, Stacy Kidd, Doc Link, Giano, and a lot of other guys for 2012. We plan to do over 20 releases this year. Currently out is the Wally Callerio aka Poncho Warwick “Who’s Provoking Who” EP… very nice record, and a lot more heaters to come.
I <3 Chicago and I <3 House Music..

We’re excited to have Gene Farris headlining Acid Test on Wednesday, February 22 alongside residents Sevron, Blue J, Stephen P, and Julian Pena; see the SmartBar website for details.

Find more about Gene Farris and Farris Wheel at djgenefarris.com

-Q