Estabilished in Florence in 1977 as a record store only, Contempo soon became one of the few italian record stores specialized in raretees and “new music” as Punk Rock, New Wave, Heavy Metal, Avantgarde et al.
At the beginning of the 80s founder Giampiero Barlotti opens a record label, Contempo Records is born and it will deeply determine the rise and success of Italian New Wave and italian new rock (Altrove by Diaframma, Yassassin by Litfiba, releases by Pankow, Soul Hunter, Death in Venice and many more).
By the end of the decade and the beginning of the 90s Contempo Records is the italian megastore of alternative music and an internationally esteemed label, with releases by Clock DVA, Christian Death, Suicide, Pixies, Breeders e many more in its catalogue.
The first label period ends with Il Ritorno Dei Desideri by Diaframma.
The record store keeps going along with the distribution activity, dealing with import stuff of almost impossible availability.
In 2015 – after a parenthesis of releases with Pankow, Neon and Carillon Del Dolore’s discographies in CD-box – the label Contempo Records re-starts activities with owner Marco Barlotti together with Giampiero Barlotti and Alessandro Nannucci and vinyl as the main focus. In the first year a rich series of soundtracks get released (titles by Morricone, Trovajoli, Umiliani, Piccioni, Fusco, Lavagnino and many others), Italian Beat (Equipe 84, Ribelli), Italian Jazz and international avantgarde (the first two volumes of “The ESP-disk story” series, compiled for Contempo by Flavia Stollman, wife of the great ESP-Disk founder Bernard Stollman).
And this is just the beginning.
Production re-focus on Italian New Wave: reissues of Altrove by Diaframma, Yassassin And Litfiba EP by Litfiba, Diaframma’s three records of the 90s (Anni Luce, Non è tardi, Sesso e violenza) and Gennaio EP. Besides vinyl also CD and cassettes get released.
A stable collaboration with Gianni Maroccolo (Litfiba’s founder and bassist) sees its first output with the release of “A.C.A.U. La Nostra Meraviglia” in vinyl deluxe edition including two CD with instrumental versions, 16 live minutes featuring Giovanni Lindo ferretti (CCCP / CSI) on vocals and the backstage videos of album recording sessions.
Artwork gets more and more important: Maroccolo’s “Nulla È Andato Perso”, triple LP and double CD documenting artist’s tour is released with a giant 95x65cm poster-cover including inserts and a bonus 7″ (exclusive to the limited edition only).
The reissue of Altrove also introduces exclusive in-store release launch.
Meetings with fans and acoustic showcases takes place thanks to Federico Fiumani, Litfiba and Gianni Maroccolo who also meet fans and press in Via Dei Bardi, Litfiba’s legendary rehersal room in Florence historic centre. A two-days happening with live concerts, fans-meeting and crowd-funding activities has been held together with Maroccolo and its large network of musicians and performers in March 2017.
The catalogue keeps growing as well as the passion for brand-new productions: in 2017 Negazione’s La Nostra Vita, box-set with their complete discography, Antonio Aiazzi’s (Litfiba’s founder and keyboardist) first stunning album, Miro Sassolini’s new album and Andrea Chimenti’s David Bowie live tribute get released.
January 20th, 2018 is the celebration day for Contempo 40 years: a huge party at Auditorium FLOG in Florence is attended by several musicians and friends and countless fans, old and new.
The story rocks on…