Coming off the back of his latest release on Toolroom, we asked Alessandro Magani aka Flashmob to talk about 10 of his own records he holds close to his heart, digging deep into the stories and their meaning in his journey as an artist. His infectious passion for the music speaks volumes, an artist driven by an insatiable desire to grow and discover new sounds. Here, we present a portrait of where Flashmob was when creating the records, that helped shape his career and define who he is as an artist today.
01. Flashmob – Brick House (Get Physical Music)
I remember pressing 1000 copies of this record onto vinyl and sending them out to profiled DJs all over the world; I literally spent everything I had to go to Ibiza that summer (2011). I put myself at the entrance of the DC10 VIP room and waited all night for the DJs I idolised to come in so I could give them their personal copy! Some of them were really nice and others too cool to even talk to me, but I stood my ground and ultimately after 7/8 hours standing there like a fool the bodyguard let me in…
I think he really saw how serious and driven I was! I met that same bouncer again when I recently opened the Paradise season with Jamie Jones summer 2019, eight years later, and he recognised me immediately! He said he had no doubt he’d see me at his door sooner or later, such a memorable moment!
02. Flashmob – Need In Me (Defected)
Every artist that manages to get their craft to a certain level almost always goes through a certain period of obsession where they do some really crazy things… this was mine!
I used to check out everyone that tuned in on my Soundcloud page and we are already talking about pretty high numbers at this stage! I’d spend all Sunday morning checking who was who and trying to connect to anyone that could in any way help me with my career. Until one morning when I connected with Andy Daniell, he was checking out my profile and we ended up connecting, he shortly after licensed ‘Brick House‘ on Defected and asked me to send over some more music, soon after I sent him Need In Me. I would have never built that first Flashmob musical period without all those hours of obsession, it seems crazy that it can come down to one person who can change everything, but only after checking thousands!!!
03. Flashmob – Don’t Leave (Flashmob Records)
I feel like this is the most underrated records I’ve ever made, I even made a music video for it which we really didn’t end up pushing that much. Flashmob became one person and my life changed when my mother passed, it was a pretty dark period of my life but in reality, that was the beginning of it all. I changed, evolved and started fighting my way back to being me and I slowly changed everything of my life and music. I might need to put this record out again, I have unfinished business with it…
04. Pet Shop Boys – Vocal – Flashmob Remix (Defected)
I remember I was very very young when I started buying music and listening to it and the Pet Shop Boys were one of my favourite bands! Going back and discovering the late ’80 and ’90 English pop music with ‘It’s a Sin‘ and ‘West End Girls‘ was part of my youth so you can only imagine when this opportunity to remix them came along! That particular album they did wasn’t a great success, but my remix was! I’m still really very proud of it and play the record out quite often.
05. Flashmob – Freakin’ Babe (Toolroom)
This is one of my all time favourite records from my old school times along with ‘Brick House‘ and it’s probably my last with that kind of sound. I’ve been asked so many times why I didn’t carry out that sound for a longer period but if I think about it, I produced that sort of stuff from 2011 to 2016 . You cannot evolve without trying new things and maybe making even some mistakes; So for a period I decided to make more techno/tech tracks always keeping a “House” flavour with the final goal of finding a new style.
06. Ilary Montanari – La Pluma – Flashmob Remix (Flashmob Records)
This is the period when I started playing more and more in South America, the land of happiness, sun and smiley ravers! For me, this was a period where I was still exploring for a new sound. I really went into a more tribal and open air musical style with this record and as result of that I created two very important remixes that are well known there! ‘La Pluma and ‘Morenita‘, hats off to Ilary Montanary for finding those two incredible vocals.
07. Flashmob – The Lone Brazilian (Hot Creations)
This track came to life in less than two hours and I immediately knew this could be something for Jamie Jones; I sent it that same day and they replayed in like five minutes saying: “We are signing this”, just like that! It then took me 13 tracks to sign a B side to close the EP. I had only met Jamie once at the time and the first thing he said to me was “You never give up do you? I was like “that period really made me understand how competitive the music industry is and even more about how much I wanted this”. Eventually, I played with him at Tomorrowland and at DC10 he’s a really great guy!
08. Ilary Montanari – Morenita – Flashmob Remix (Flashmob Records)
After the Lone Brazilian was No. 1 in the Overall chart on Beatport for over seven weeks, I did another remix of Ilary Montanari‘s track ‘Morenita‘. I was lucky enough to replicate the success but on Spotify this time, with the remix becoming very popular in South America gaining millions of plays! I remember that I started lowering the volume during my sets while I was playing it and I could hear the crowd sing it, that’s when I knew South America was becoming a key geographical area of my touring. I really owe a lot to Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Argentina, I really feel at home there. “Ola Sandro” was what I heard at the beginning of my last set for Elrow In Perù and it really got me, check the video on my Instagram and you’ll understand what I mean!
09. Flashmob feat Kevin Knapp – Who – Flashmob 2020 Remix (Flashmob Records)
I’ve always loved ‘Who‘ and those special vocals Kevin Knapp did for me but I just couldn’t play the track live any more! I honestly felt it was old and maybe a bit dated? or maybe I’ve just played too many times! So in 2020, I decided create a brand new version of the record and to be honest I’m super happy with it and cannot wait to play it out! Although, I’ve not had the chance yet.
This was the end of the more tribal and tech period for me, at the beginning of the first lockdown I spent like two weeks thinking about what I had done and achieved in the ten years on the road that bought me that same new house and sitting there I realised of how much more I could do now I had the time. I was very confused and missed the road but I just knew one thing, I really needed to go back to House music fully and put my 100% in the studio. So that’s exactly what I did and I now have 22 finished tracks as we speak with my latest release ‘Closer‘ on the Toolroom the first to come.
10. Flashmob – Closer (Toolroom)
This record was the beginning of a whole new era for me. I have honestly not put my all into a track for a long time. Since I’ve become a father of two and had been touring so much I really couldn’t remember who I was or what I was able to do any more. When COVID hit planet earth, this is the period where I started living again, feeling my body and not feeling mentally disrupted and tired any more. I’ve not had positive energy like that for a long time and I was only really able to express it during gigs.
I challenged myself in the studio and stayed in it for so long I nearly totally lost my left leg quadriceps completely haha. I was finally fighting with myself in the studio like I used to do at the beginning of my career, but with the knowledge of over eight hundred gigs around the world and all the music experience that comes with that! Plus all the time in the world! I’ve not had that freedom from time or that feeling for a really long time, like nearly a decade to be totally honest! Due to this, I’ve never been so proud of my music like I am today and I’m truly blessed to be able to say I really feel ‘Closer‘ to myself and I truly hope this song will help people around the world to get back closer to each other. Thank you Mark, Matt and all the #ToolroomFamily for believing in my music and giving me this opportunity.