We catch up with main man Alessandro Magani to find out more about the label's first half-decade
Italy's Flashmob Records (and more underground sub-label Flashmob LTD) have been reliably turning out house and tech-house grooves for one half of a whole decade now, which seemed as good a reason as any to make them our Label Of The Month for October.
Flashmob releases don't tend to follow a particular blueprint: many could safely be filed under 'tech-house' for sure, but it's also true that various different shades of house have found a home at the label over the past five years – the uniting factor being that you can always rely on a Flashmob release to be well crafted and do the business out on the floor.
The label was set up when Flashmob were still a duo, and originally the intention was simply to find a home for the duo's own material that would enable them to develop their sound in different directions. But since Danny Minchella's departure, Alessandro Magani has been sailing the good ship Flashmob single-handed, and while his own productions have appeared on the label, Flashmob Records has (until recently, at least – more on that below) generally concentrated on showcasing the work of up-and-coming producers – though the discography also features the more established likes of Wally Lopez, Roberto Surace, Tolstoi & Andsan, Piem and Di Chiara Brothers.
We caught up with Alessandro in the middle of his South American tour to find out more…
First off, congratulations on your fifth birthday! Hitting that milestone must be a good feeling?
"It certainly is! If I look back, it’s great to see the label doing so well. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get it to this level and I feel like we’re still only just getting started."
What are your plans for marking the anniversary?
"There'll be a number of showcases, and we're also gonna maybe do a couple of releases with remixes of some of the first tracks we signed to the label."
Take us back to when you set up the label, and why…
"We started the label in 2014 with the intention of seeking a new sound for Flashmob. Eventually, myself and the other former member split up and Flashmob became a solo act. From there on I decided I would dedicate my platform to upcoming producers, giving younger and unknown producers the possibility to release their great music.
"The label gradually grew out of this and I slowly started to get into the label more and more. As the label became more popular, obviously the level of the music gradually grew, to the point that I am now releasing more of my own productions on it. Now the label is open to both new talents and more established producers from around the globe.
"Our main goal as a team is to become one of the best with great music and not just through trendy names. I refuse to do what everyone else is doing, and as you can see in my own studio work, I’m far from being afraid to experiment. That is really the only way to be part of the evolution of electronic music – to leave something people will remember."
How do you describe the label's music policy?
"The policy is quality – both in the production and in the person. High-level, quality and forward-thinking tunes. We really pay attention to whom we sign, we take the label job very seriously and we listen to everything, although it’s impossible to reply to everyone."
How many people are employed by/involved in running the label?
"Six: Luca, Lanfre, Simon, James, Giuseppe and myself. Luca Garaboni, the A&R, has really brought a huge wave of ideas and business strategies. I wasn’t convinced about having an A&R at first, but a year after Luca took the job it was his and no other! Also my main man Giuseppe, Lanfre my assistant and Simon from Labelworx have really helped this new family grow in strength and belief in this last year."
What's been your biggest-selling release so far?
"I think my remix of La Morenita by Ilary Montanari is the track that has sold most overall, but I need to see the numbers for our last release from Juliet Sikora, Beat Dancer – it’s been in the Beatport Tech House Top 10 for seven weeks now so it seems to be doing great!"
You're about to embark on a South American tour, and I'm told you and the label are very popular down there. How did that come about?
"It’s pretty normal for someone that’s been successful in Europe to explore new territories: I’ve played everywhere in Europe so it's refreshing to go to South America. The Flashmob brand is huge here (I’m writing this from Cordoba) so it’s great for me because I can see new places, play new clubs and festivals, and expand the Flashmob platform in a continent that is so exciting right now.
"South Americans are fresh, full of knowledge and always fucking up for it. I feel this is the connection between Flashmob and South America: enthusiasm."
Are there any shows on the tour you're particularly looking forward to?
"Of course – I can’t wait to play in Salta, Argentina for Candy Moon Producciones, and then for the mighty Omnia Producciones in Plata Del Mar."
I'm also told that there's a new label coming this year, so what can you tell us about that?
"I’ve started a new sound with a new concept behind it and it’s all called Sunshine. It’s gonna become my personal label and my night… I can’t say much more just yet, but all will be revealed soon!"
What's the best thing you've ever heard anyone say about Flashmob (the label)? And the worst?
"The nicest thing is that it’s made of normal people, That means people can feel how much we really love what we do, and that we respect everyone. We are human beings after all and that’s more important than anything else, especially in art.
"The worst was in an email we got from someone that had his release cancelled – but I can’t report that! To be honest, I’d love people to openly criticise me and my label – I’m sure someone would come up with something that we could improve, and improving is everything to me."
Finally, what else is going on for you/the label right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"We have an amazing ADE party on a boat in Amsterdam on 18 October. Make sure you check it out and I’ll see you on the dancefloor!"
Words: Russell Deeks
Flashmob Records' latest release is Flashmob's own Unrefined, which is out now