Fabrizio Mammarella: The ‘Ransom Note’ Mix

Fabrizio Mammarella 7

Fabrizio Mammarella has been a key figure in putting contemporary Italian dance music on the global map.

The DJ, producer and label owner, who splits his time between his hometown of Chieti and Berlin, honours Italy’s rich musical past whilst keeping both eyes firmly fixed on the future.

Alongside Fellow Italian Franz Scala, he’s the mind behind Slow Motion Records and its little sister imprint Wrong Era who, for nearly two decades, have peddled a sound they term ‘Italian Dance Wave’, which draws on heritage sounds like Italo Disco, Proto and Progressive House in a fresh context.


Through the labels he’s helped provide a platform to a new crop of contemporary Italian producers, and unsurprisingly this singular style has captured the attention of artists across the world, who are now dabbling in this Italian-influenced sound. Since it’s inception in 2005 it’s been a home to Italian-hailing producers like dj rocca, System Olympia and Discodromo, as well as artists from all over including Adrian Marth, Rambal Cochet and Pardon Moi.

Inevitably Fabrizio’s own music is indebted to these Italian sounds too. Self-described as ‘music for dancefloors made with old synthesizers, drum machines and a computer’ — a meeting of the old and the new — as well as releasing these sonics on his own imprint, he’s made homes at an impressive string of labels like DFA, Permanent Vacation, Correspondant, Les Disques De La Mort and Future Boogie.

We handed the reigns over to him for today’s mix. It’s a true reflection of what he’s all about: futuristic, synth-driven dance music at its finest.

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

Hi! This is Fabrizio Mammarella, I’m based in between my hometown Chieti, Italy and Berlin. I’m a DJ, producer, remixer, label owner and music curator.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

Music for dancefloors made with old synthesizers, drum machines and a computer. This mix says it all.

If it was a drawing it would be a Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici piece.

Where was the mix recorded?

In my hometown Chieti.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

A car with a fat sound system, driving to the party with your friends.

What should we be wearing?

Sneakers and leather jackets.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

Most of the time I do mixes while I’m travelling on trains or airplanes, it really makes the time go by quickly.
I use Ableton Live so digital files are what I use as I always prefer to showcase the upcoming music I make or I receive.
Sometimes I record mixes on my home DJ booth, I only have turntables so vinyl is the choice.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Space Opera – Space 3001 (The D-Shake Trance Mix)

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Playgroup – Dj Kicks

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Daniele Baldelli at Club Cosmic in the early 80s. He was playing the most innovative and futuristic sets no-one else would play at the time, he really inspired the next generations of DJs and he’s still rocking hard!

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I started with a pair of Pioneer CDJ 100s and a DJM 300. I still have that mixer (I know I should get a new one) plus two Technics SL1210 MK2, a Rotel 1070 amplifier and Klipsch Heresy II speakers.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Both equally important but the track you start is the one that sets the vibe, I would go for that one.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First one was probably some shitty dance compilation in the mid 90s, last one according to my Discogs profile is “Y.W. Eleven” by Andrew Weatherall.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

A plate of raw fish: tasty, fresh, spicy and powerful, with lots of details going on.

If it was an animal what would it be?

I don’t know, it’s almost lunch time, I’m hungry and I can only think of roasted animals.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Not sure there is one, I think I can find a solution to mix anything in.