I am a house/dance snob, owning a ton of records and cd's, including all of Mark Farina's (including Seasons Vol. 1). By far, this is the most representative of the type of set you are likely to hear Mr. Farina play at a club or party. The other live Farina CD, live in Tokyo, captures the live-ness of the event, but the track selection was more mainstream than anything he normally plays when he's behind the decks and in front of a crowd. The tracks on this Ministry of Sound sessions were mixed live, with no editing and only a short break between discs. The tracks are underground and there is no digital assistance to account for the mixing skills.
Disc 1 is a 5 star review from me. With the exception of one mix toward the end, this set is flawless, the beginning is especially jump-up exciting.
Disc 2 began to loose the focus of the set in my opinion. The last track on the first disk is the first track on the second disc, giving it a continuiity and "full set" type of feel. While its a great idea, this 2nd disc struggles to maintain the flow of the first disc. Track 10 throws the whole set off when it drops a super vocal disco-type sound that sticks out like a sore thumb in the otherwise underground sound of the set. Thankfully, Mr. Farina picks up the end of the set after track 10 and finishes strong.
These CD's are a must for any true underground house fan who is looking for that 'live set' or 'out at a party/club' sound at home.