New evidence has come to light which proves that serial dance music plagiarist FLOD aka Flavio Lodetti has been stealing other people’s music and passing it off as his own since at least 2010, and may have never released a track he produced himself in a career that has spanned more than a decade.
As producers and label owners scan Lodetti’s discography for stolen tracks from their own catalogs, evidence is mounting of a long-standing plagiarism spree virtually without rival in dance music. It did not go undetected, but was only publicly revealed a few days ago when he submitted “new demos” to the same producer he stole them from.
According to new information, FLOD/Lodetti was stealing and releasing other people’s music as his own as early as 2010 – just two years after his first credited release. And some of his earliest collaborators have told 5 Mag that Lodetti’s name was added as “co-producer” to their records even though he didn’t contribute musically. What appears to have been a recent scandal has instead unearthed a pattern of fraud going back at least 9 years.
New Evidence of Old Theft
One early example shows that Lodetti’s plagiarism spree did not begin last week or even last year, but stretches back to the very beginnings of his career.
Under his real name, Flavio Lodetti released “Elefante Refrescante” on March 8, 2010 on Alma Soul Music, according to Discogs. You can listen to that here:
“Elefante Refrescante” is identical to “02.04” released by Damien Zala and Lowkiss (Baccara) on Hush Recordz on July 30, 2009 – nearly a year before “Elefante Refrescante.” You can listen to the original on Spotify here:
This early theft was discovered through yet another remarkable act of self-ownage by Lodetti. Last week, readers will recall, Lodetti stole seven tracks and submitted them as demos to Gábor Szeles, the producer he stole them from.
But we can now reveal that in 2012 Lodetti submitted three tracks stolen from yet another a Hush Recordz release as demos for DJ Magillian‘s Musica Gourmet imprint. As Magillian also ran Hush Recordz, he recognized his own label’s back catalog immediately. Listening to Lodetti’s other releases at Beatport, Magillian recognized “Elefante Refrescante” as being “02.04” and also belonging to Hush’s catalog.
Lodetti tried to send a label owner his own music. Twice.
Lodetti seems to have paused in releasing music after he was caught passing off Hush Recordz material as his own, which made us look back to his earlier discography, consisting mostly of records released under his real name.
The “Disappearing” of Flavio Lodetti
Many FLOD’s early records released under the name “Flavio Lodetti” are no longer available on Beatport, having been removed for undisclosed reasons over the years. Many (but not all) of the ones that still remain on the site are single tracks from compilations that licensed Flavio Lodetti tracks that have otherwise disappeared from the site.
Other Lodetti solo releases, such as 2009’s Playa Mondello on Frequenza Recordings, have had their Beatport page hollowed out with the original (or “original”) Flavio Lodetti tracks removed and only the remixes remain.
“I’m shocked by all this frankly,” Nihil Young from Frequenza told me. “I forgot about that release because it’s been nearly 10 years.”
After searching through old emails, Young told me he removed Lodetti’s original mix of Playa Mondello not for nefarious reasons but because “it wasn’t matching the label’s sound. It was awful and I wasn’t managing the label at the very beginning. When I acquired 100% of the label I did a massive cleanup and took off a bunch of ugly records.”
Young adds that “Honestly I’ve been hearing stories about this guy since back in the days in Sicily. And he’s been reaching out to send me new tunes last year but I obviously didn’t sign any because he seemed super shady to me. I have a sixth sense for these things. He also wanted to make a joint label party with me at ADE but I ignored him.”
Money Can’t Buy Fame, But It Can Buy a Back Catalog
How did Lodetti get away with it for so long?
Money and perception.
Discogs lists 23 Lodetti productions released prior to 2011, but only 5 of them are Lodetti solo releases. The rest – nearly 80% of his listed discography prior to 2011 – were produced in tandem with other (mostly Italian) producers. This is a tremendous number of co-productions.
I’ve verified that most of Lodetti’s co-producers on these early records actually exist, and have contacted several of them. Two of his collaborators have informed me that Lodetti had nothing to do with creating the music on their co-productions, but simply paid to have his name put on the label as co-producer. A third – Lodetti’s co-producer on his latest track with Nervous Records – posted shortly after this story went live that their joint production is “100% my work and he put only his name.”
“Those were actually original records,” Tarcisio Longobardi from SINC, who released three records credited as “co-productions” with Lodetti, told me. “He didn’t write/produce anything but we agreed to put his name under the productions because he was paying for printing the vinyls, etc. As far as I remember we didn’t sign any contract, we just had some sort of verbal agreement.
“He didn’t do anything, but he paid for the release.”
On another co-production with SINC – 2010’s “Sikandra” – Lodetti boasted he had a contact with Session Deluxe label owner Martin Eyerer and could get it released. “So we agreed to release the track with his name on in exchange,” Longobardi told me. It appeared on a record with several other Lodetti “co-productions” with various producers. We haven’t successfully contacted any of them.
“The deal was that we were producing the tracks and he was publishing them under his record label having his name as co-producer,” Longobardi says. “It wasn’t a good deal for us obviously.”
What appears to be a pattern of using actual producers to create phony co-production credits for himself built out a discography for Flavio Lodetti that didn’t jump off the page with amazing credits but but appeared, nevertheless, credible.
After this story went live, Mauro Venti confirmed in a public Facebook post that his recent co-production with Lodetti – “Don’t Stop” on Nervous Records – was entirely his own work. According to Venti, Lodetti informed him that he had a “connection” with Nervous Records and would get Venti’s track on the label in exchange for a co-production credit.
“Unfortunately a few months ago he ‘collaborated’ with me for the release ‘Don’t Stop’ on Nervous,” Venti wrote. “It seemed an interesting proposition, since he was in friendship with some members of Nervous and took the track, despite the track is 100% of my work and he put only his name.
“I thanks the Nervous Records team that supports me despite this fact happened, but I want to dissociate myself from this character after this fact, despite having ‘worked’ with him, like many other artists who collaborate, remixed or had to do with his label, unaware of what he was doing.”
Note that more than 10 years separate these remarkably similar stories as related by Longobardi and Venti, whose track with FLOD was released by Nervous Records in November 2018.
I have been in contact with one other Lodetti co-producer who described a similar story but did not wish to go on record. If any others would like to go on record, my email address is below the story.
Has Flavio Lodetti Produced a Single Real Track?
This is a fair question now. Before I spoke to Longobardi, I was prepared to allow that these co-productions were the sole parts of Lodetti/FLOD’s discography that could be viewed as legitimate, if only because stealing tracks as a group is rather pointless when you could do it yourself, alone.
Longobardi’s statement however blows a pretty huge hole in that hypothesis. It doesn’t seem that this pattern is new – though not paying or crediting the people who actually made his tracks is a recent “innovation.”
We have no evidence now that Flavio Lodetti – a man with 10 years worth of recorded material in his discography and at one point hundreds of tracks for sale on Beatport – produced any part of his listed back catalog. Substantial evidence exists that a great part of his discography is made up of records produced by others, sometimes obtained by fraudulent means and sometimes by outright theft.
Using the name “FLOD” may have been a way to separate Flavio Lodetti’s real name from the scandal of nearly being outed back in 2012 by Hush Recordz (apart from the unknown circumstances in which many of his other tracks have been quietly “disappeared” from Beatport), but Lodetti soon returned to his old tricks. He also connected his new “FLOD” alias to his real name, probably to attract fame and bookings. It was inevitable that he would be caught – this can’t be a surprise to him as he’s been caught before but managed to keep it quiet. But then if he was a master criminal, he probably would have edited or at least rearranged some of the tracks he was stealing in the first place.
It was only as a result of Gábor Szeles going public about it that revealed the long scope of Lodetti’s serial plagiarism to the public.
5 Mag once again reached out to Lodetti via Facebook – this time to his artist page, which requires all posts to be moderated by the page owner (and thus assures he’s seen our query). If he has comment or wishes to clarify, we will post an update.
Photo: FLOD on Facebook