giovedì 4 febbraio 2010

Amsterdam boulevard

The Italian independent post punk scene in the 80’s was greatly influenced by the uk maestro joy division, bauhaus & cure amongst the others. Two cities specifically provided bands to the new scene: Turin with Carmody, Defear & Monuments and Florence, the very true center of the new born italian cold wave movement. Diaframma started in the city of Arno as an idea of Federico Fiumani. The band grew up around his magnetic figure of composer/guitarist/poet and his inspirate, violent and visionary attitude. It'a out of any doubt that they had a great impact on the young italian independent scene in the early eighties. In addition, unlike their town mates Litfiba, they were more influenced by decadent and romantic artist as well punk rock and new wave. As a matter of fact, when they released their first single "Pioggia" on Italian records (it was 1981 I guess...), they stood like a sore thumb within the italian lazy scene, having already developed some sort of a personal style, heavly influenced by english bands but in some way devoted to italian artistic idols of the seventies, the so called "Cantautori" scene. Their first recordings , all sung in italian, raised great interest locally, including radios and labels, especially in the Florence area where Contempo Records was just moving its first steps. They were exactly the kinfd of band that all the italian new wavers (those kind of dark dressed boy were called "nerini") dreamed to be a part of. Then other great singles came after, the wonderful Altrove ep for example, and finally the long awaited debut album at the end of 1984. "Siberia" is still considered the italian new wave masterpiece and no matters what happened the years after: Diaframma will be always be identified with that cold wave sound they first created in Siberia. The story tells us that in spite of the enthusiastic response of the few post punk fans and the efforts of and passion of journalists and producers like Alberto Campo, Federico Guglielmi and Claudio Sorge, Diaframma were virtually ignorated by the most important italian media and the band was suffering from what they thought was an unmerited lack of consideration. Only Federico survived these troubled years. But soon they reached the status of cult band they will never leave! Today Federico is still singing with this moniker Diaframma and notoriously, he more than once turned down very lucrative major labels' deals in order to preserve his artistic independence and maintain band's integrity. Listening to his latest album, I don't know exacly what kind of integrity he's still talking about but his attitude surely makes him a sort of a hero in the underground Italian scene.

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