Declino. La città è quieta… ombre parlano.

Spring. March Hare is out of his winter lair and on the streets again. Still aimlessly wandering all around Italia. Last month he was ruining his sensitive hearing in hard-core circles which resulted in today’s Declino / Peggio Punx split blogpost. It would be unfair to have a quick (super fast!) look back at Italia ’84 without mentioning phenomenon of local HC punk. I could have picked anarcho Milanesi Wretched and their seven inch EP “Finirá Mai?” that preceded excellent debut LP “Libero Di Vivere / Libero Di Morire”. Yeah, there were quite a lot of bands that managed to issue worthy plastic (in relative terms). Negazione were on the way to become the most popular name of them all, slowly building the European connections. While Raw Power were gigging across the pond in USA, etc. Ascoltate!

Peggio Punx ‎– La città è quieta… ombre parlano (1984)

peggio punx

Guerra

Noia

Linea diritta

Solitudine

La mia vita

Credi di…

Declino – Declino (1984)

declino

Rivolta e negazione

Scelte imposte

Mortale tristezza

Terra bruciata

Coscienza distruttiva

Nessuna fiducia

This blogpost would not be possible without the history lessons / source materials coming from metal-head Erich (defunct ‘Bad Good Music from Bad Bad Times’ blog) & rude boys of ‘Killed By Death’ old school punk site.

In our neck of the woods hard-core punk didn’t catch on so impressively.  UK influenced Sköl could be worthy of passing mention when we speak about Zagreb. Not only early phase of the band but trajectory of the band leader Tomislav Peterlić Fix: SkölBlitzkriegSköl II. Unfortunately Sköl didn’t leave behind qualitatively recorded material. HC punk was bigger deal in SR Slovenia & SR Serbia at the beginning of the decade.

From Italodisco to hard-core punk and back, I am off the middle path of purity and righteousness… The decline and fall.

 

 

Siberia

Diaframma ‎– Siberia (1984)

siberia

Pop consumer confession again: I am not well versed in Diaframma’s work. It wasn’t destined for export, like Italian hard-core punk. Diaframma remained inside their homeland boundaries.

“Siberia” is recognized as capolavoro of Italian new wave / postpunk. Upon initial listening I wasn’t impressed but once I started to recognize signs of life underneath thin copertina of icy reverb the picture fell into place. Eight songs in half an hour, quite fitting for a Sunday afternoon indoors in allegedly depressive month of January. (Finally with some snow and chill in the air outside, as proper winter should bring.  Where have all the seasons gone? You can have six months of fake summer. I want four seasons back!) But as I said, “Siberia” isn’t immediate listening experience and an impulsive savage/naturalist in me wished for the rough mixes or 8-track garage recording of instrumental tracks.  The studio recording gives aura of the group scattered across a large freezing empty space with the strongest echoes emanating from the singer. Synthscapes are very tasty but barely audible on few tracks. Bass slaps I dig, as usually. The leader in the band, prolific songwriter / guitarist (in later line-ups on vocals as well), Federico Fiumani, decided to suppress the rock ego and toned down the role of guitar in this arty stage of Diaframma. And although the songs gathered for their debut LP  have wintry pace, the group energy captured on other recordings generally reveals lively and forward oriented shape-shifting dynamic. I wouldn’t say that Diaframma were bunch of depressed Italian youth thou. First and foremost, their main muse seems to have been Venus. Followed over the span of the decade, they can be valued as Italian contemporaries of Echo and The Bunnymen, The Cure, Simple Minds and The Wedding Present. I suspect that they were cherished on a local level. Early Diaframma shares some common ground with Pingvinovo potpalublje too. In mid 1980s their vocalist was very distinctive Miro Sassolini who gave Diaframma touch of romantic glamour. But for the purpose of “Siberia” even he was a bit down. (on songs like “Elena” or radio friendly “Tre volte lacrime” which followed after “Siberia”, he flies despite the heartache, and pulls the band higher off the ground).  I might check other albums by Diaframma one day. I hope I won’t be disappointed by overtly populist moves. Diaframma =  drama.

Neogrigo

Specchi d’acqua

Desiderio del nulla

Siberia

 

diaframma

Diaframma pre 1984

Ortodossia II°

Sunday morning in a commune house in the outskirts of Reggio Emilia with communist art-punks CCCP-Fedeli alla linea. Listening to their punk filosovietici. Slowly sipping prime quality espresso (instead of doing it properly in two fast gulps, like all true Italians do) & getting flashbacks (some of them mildly disturbing).

cccp

CCCP-Fedeli alla linea

CCCP-Fedeli Alla Linea Ortodossia II° ‎(12″) Attack Punk Records 1985

ortodossia ii

Live In Pankow

Mi Ami?

Spara Jurij

Punk Islam

I like this red 12” and all CCCP-Fedeli alla linea records that I’ve heard so far. “Ortodossia II°” is thrilling art-punk achievement, recommended for all lost cases who dig rhythm machine postpunk in the frontlines, side by side with The Three Johns, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Italo-American band Grande Nero among the other comrades. I wasn’t aware of  CCCP-Fedeli alla linea existence back in the 1980s. Their music wasn’t spread on tapes and listened in my hometown. Perhaps few copies of original LPs still could be found in record collections of older punks from Ljubljana, Pula or Rijeka. As a side note, in 1984 the same small label Attack Punk Records issued hard-core punk EP “Corpus Delicti” by U.B.R. from Ljubljana and made it part of international HC community even more.

Live in Mosca, live in Budapest
Live in Varsavia
Live in Praga, live in Sofia
Live in Pankow
Haupstadt der D.D.R
Haupstadt der D.D.R
Haupstadt der D.D.R

Compagni est-europei
Uno sforzo ancora
Dalle sale da ballo
Un po’ più che di merda
Un’opinione pubblica
Un poco meno stupida
Dalle sale da ballo
Un po’ più che di merda

Voglio rifugiarmi
Sotto il piano di Varsavia
Voglio un piano quinquennale
La stabilità
Live in Mosca, live in Budapest
Live in Varsavia
Live in Praga, live in Sofia
Live in Pankow

Ost Berlin, West Berlin
Ost Berlin, West Berlin
Ost Berlin, West Berlin
Ost Berlin, West Berlin
Trance Europa express
Trance Europa express
Trance Europa express
Trance Europa express

 

I am glad that there isn’t a line “live in Belgrado” in the song text. I did appreciate belonging to non-aligned Third World and having a passport. At the age of sixteen I could hop on a bus and go to Trieste (window) shopping for records without problems. In addition to that, I am thankful for all the modest products of Socialism available at home – licensed new wave and punk rock albums from US/UK major labels which were generally well pressed by Jugoton label. Those days I’d look in any direction but cold and frightening north-east where CCCP sprawled. Today: Voglio un piano quinquennale. La stabilità. New Europe without solid welfare state is utterly pointless. Trance Europa indeed. Tanz debil / ganz debil.

Psicopatico Party or Sick Soundtrack

Saturday night in a discotheque in Bologna, Italia.

Italo Disco d/evolution of Gaznevada? Non mi frega niente. Mi piacciono i sintetizzatori italiani.

gaznevada

Psicopatico Party (1983) Italian Records

Whispers

Fashion Crime

I.C. Love Affair

A. Perkins

Psicopatico Party

Sick Soundtrack (1980) Italian Records

1980

An important New Wave recording for Bella Italia, I’d say (as a casual retro listener / onlooker). There is only one cardinal sin – Gaznevada gave up on the mother tongue entirely on their debut album which leaves me a bit heartbroken everytime I listen to “Sick Soundtrack”. During the time of finding their own voce dadaistico, the band were trying out new sounds arriving from USA so one can hear traces of Devo, Talking Heads, Ramones, James Chance & The Contortions, Blondie etc.

Going Underground

Shock Antistatico

Pordenone UFO Attack

Japanese Girl

Now I Want To Kill You

Nevadagaz / Blue TV Set (1980)

 

A great single.

Blue TV Set

Gaznevada (1979) Harpo’s Music (tape)

The opening number “Everybody Enjoy The Reggae Music” could be an obstacle because they couldn’t pull off white reggae nor make fun of it properly. It’s simply a warming up track  for wild Gaznevada ride.  Dada punk-rock bolognese presented on this tape was already quite competent. Plus Gaznevada here sang in Italian, la lingua di popolo!

Mamma, dammi la benza!

Donna di gomma

Criminale

Teleporno TV

Nevadagaz

Viva Italia!

La voce del padrone

Franco Battiato – La voce del padrone (1981)

fbvoce

Summer On A Solitary Beach

Centro di gravità permanente

Bandiera bianca

Until “La voce del padrone” Franco Battiato was an eccentric solo artist surrounded with il rock progressivo di Italia. Superior Viaduct recently re-issued his early art-rock / avant-garde albums. Invece, “La voce del padrone” is pure synth pop bliss for all people.

Južina.