Label: PIAS/Different Release date: 28/09/00 Website: Of all the genres, electro could be regarded as the easiest to step into. The equipment you need is minimal, the software packages cheap and more often that not it's a solo operation; a bit of a One-Man-Band 2.0 type effort. For the ease that it can be to create to an electronic record, it also takes a tremendous amount of effort, talent and intelligence to create a whole album of quality. Rarely is there an electro release that's rich in sound, packed with ingenuity and blessed with character, but thankfully Flashmob by Vitalic is all that. It is the second studio album from the French Electro producer, a follow up to his 2005 album “OK Cowboy”. Whilst he hasn’t necessarily been flooding the market since his emergence in ’96 he has always been synonymous with pushing the right boundaries and raising the bar for intelligible electro. The album opens with the edgy sounding, filtered, high tempo beat of "See the Sea (Red)". Whilst it doesn't instantly strike you as being anything completely fresh sounding, you slowly get the picture as to what this, and the majority of this release, is about. It's an album of progressive music, tracks you need to listen to in their entirety to appreciate the effort that has been put into them. There is a reprise of the track later in the album "See the Sea (Blue)", which is punchier, faster and just as good rehashed as the original. Each one of the 13 tracks has enough personality for it to sound unique. "Poison Lips" has a haunting female vocal with underpinned with a deep synth beat. The title track "Flashmob" is the standout floor filler and builds up into a proper audio assault, with it's vocoder repeat lyrics and accompanying electro thud; it sounds reminiscent of Justice's 'Phantom'. The first release from the album is "Your Disco Song" (available to listen to on his myspace page) - it's probably the most instantly appealing track and, as the title implies, embraces the disco vibe and takes you on a bit of a journey; it's a fitting first release. Every track is poignant too, the longest playing, "Still" , is just over 5 minutes, so your not going to be listening to "Prog-Electro" at any point, but that isn't a bad thing, no heels are dragged. "Terminator Benelux" and "Alain Delon" are two other standout tracks, both at opposite ends to each other in terms of style and tempo but equally brilliant. The commercial success of this record will be hard to judge; if quality, talent (and artwork) sold records then it would be right up there - but they don't - so who knows how well it will do, but there is no denying it's calibre ! Rating:9/10