Yet another pop-roots act on the briskly growing Italian scene, Fiamma Fumana fuse old Italian songs with positively thumping electronica. This is an enjoyable project, with the musicians keenly aware of globalization's far-reaching effects: get the kids dancing to the songs of their elders, but this time at a global village rave. The incessant BPMs prove an interesting counterpoint to the folk instrumentation. On "Tre Sorelle," the sonic palette bursts wide open with some grand accordion runs by Alberto Cottica. It's a moment of relief that prevents the crystal-clear production from descending into predictable club music. Fiamma Fumana do not solely adhere to their Italian roots; plenty of tracks feature Scottish or Irish piping. One of the highlights of the album, "L.I.L.T," marries a delirious Celtic melody and violin to lyrics celebrating the diversity of Italian dialects: "Local Italian language/I want to speak it differently but the same..."
The real star of 1.0 would have to be Fiamma herself, whose gorgeous voice imparts a warm urgency to this collection. Fiamma is the still point of the band's churning universe, even when her voice is altered through filters or arrayed against other vocal samples. As a "Folk Sound System" whose goal is to urge you to dance to the deep traditions of Italian culture, the band succeeds, but mostly in their fitting strong lyrical content to heady beats. Whether Fiamma Fumana develop into an act that can also treat this formula with subtlety, only time will tell. - Lee Blackstone
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