Dream Weavers

17 April 2013 | 6:15 am | Chris Yates

"At that time, the music was very confusing and there was a lot of things happening – things were not stable."

It may not have turned out the way that it has for Pocket Full Of Dreams. After their debut Concrete Jungle well and truly placed them on the national scene as a hip hop force to be reckoned with, Diafrix had their second album recorded when they took the unusual step to can the whole thing and start again. It may have set them back a year, but the end result of this unusual decision has ultimately paid off big time.

“At that time, the music was very confusing and there was a lot of things happening – things were not stable,” Azmarino says of the hip hop scene as he saw it at the time. “As a musician, you know an album can make you or break you sometimes. Even though we loved the sound of it, it didn't sound like it was the right sound for that time. That's where we like to be. It just didn't feel like it was right with what was going on. With Concrete Jungle it was very organic and very rootsy, and we took it in that direction. We found that it was really hard to get radio play from that kind of sound and in this era that's what you really need.”

The decision to re-record was also helped by the coup of garnering a shit hot producer to help them achieve the sound they knew they needed.

“We were very lucky to score Styalz Fuego and to do the collaboration with him,” Azmarino says enthusiastically. “He was really up for producing the whole album so we couldn't let an opportunity like that slide. We just started again from scratch. Basically, we've learnt not to force things over the years.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

It actually wasn't so much as returning to the studio – Azmarino says they rarely leave it.

“We're actually always working on stuff,” he laughs. “Momo [aka Mohamed Komba] is a producer as well so he's producing a lot of people right now. How it worked with Styalz Fuego is that he was like the director and we have our own studio where the energy is really good. We're in the studio right now working on things while we're doing the interviews.”

As both he and Momo came to Australia as refugees, it seems remiss not to ask Azmarino about the Australian mass-media portrayal of refugees in our country in this election year (not to mention both sides of major politics). Azmarino calmly explains his frustrations and his disappointments with the refusal to acknowledge how integral refugees have been to building Australia into the country it is, and understands why a lot of folks get the wrong end of the stick about it.

“Well, they say in Melbourne or in Victoria that one out of every four homes speaks a language other than English at home,” he says. “It's amazing how there isn't any recognition of that. So when they say, 'ah, no more refugees', and not just speaking about the African community but from wherever, we [refugees] have made a lot of contributions to Australia in many ways. Diafrix work hard to make people realise a lot of the contributions that [refugees] make. I live in Fitzroy (in Melbourne) so it's a very multi-cultural environment. My neighbours are Macedonian and Indonesian and from Fiji and we all live together very nicely. I wish the media would show this to the people who live in the outback and don't live with refugees in their communities – they don't understand, and when they hear about refugees, they panic, you know? For me, that's the saddest thing about it.”

Diafrix will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 20 April – Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA
Wednesday 24 April – Coniston lane, Brisbane QLD
Thursday 25 April – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba QLD
Friday 26 April – Great Northern, Byron Bay NSW
Saturday 27 April – Movement Festival, Festival Hall, Melbourne VIC
Sunday 28 April – Movement Festival, Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane QLD
Tuesday 20 April – Movement Festival, Metro City, Perth WA
Saturday 4 May – Waratah Hotel, Hobart TAS