SUPERNOVA are Emiliano Nencioni and Giacomo Godi; an Italian DJ and production duo that have over the last decade made the transition from rising stars to established international talent. Perhaps best known for their acclaimed and much-discussed collaboration with Kevin Saunderson on 2010’s ‘Beat Me Back’, the pair used the attention achieved to demonstrate this was far from a one off, and are now recognised as artists and performers of enviable stature.
Childhood friends from their native Florence, the Supernova project was formed back in 2003 after a chance reunion in Milan at a party at which Emiliano was DJing. Conversation quickly turned to plans for creating an album intended to accompany series for a Sunday night party series that Emiliano has been hosting for a few years, and before long they were in the studio working on new music. After a few days working together on a project that initially was a solo release, they came to the realisation that a duo was the perfect arrangement.
Both Emiliano and Giacomo are classically trained musicians, something they believe has set their approach to electronic music apart from many of their peers, granting them the technical abilities and theoretical know-how to produce the music they want without restriction. Loops and samples which make up the basis of many tracks are rarely found in a Supernova production, with the duo focussing their attention on original sounds, heartfelt melodies and eclectic, unpredictable arrangements.
Taking their lead from the music of their youth – everything from Chicago house, acid house, hip-hop, funk and acid jazz – they achieved their first notable success in 2007 when Sony BMG released their debut album ‘Downtown Underground, which included collaborations from the likes of GrandMaster and Melle Mel). This garnered support across the board and launched Supernova on tours of China and USA, which is where they honed their now distinctive DJ style.
As the variety of different ways that electronic artists are able to perform grows ever larger, so the debate as to what actually constitutes a DJ set rages every fiercer. Rather than get drawn into the debate however, Supernova prefer just to do their thing. At the beginning their set up was 100% live- includingMoog, Virus and Micro Korg keybords, a logic control mixer and external hardware effects and filters – and they only performed their own records, but after a punishing tour schedule across two continents they realised they needed to develop something for suitable for clubs. Their current set-up comprises live instruments, decks and Ableton to create an ever-evolving musical experience that is “constantly renovated to create something unique.”
It certainly seemed to work. Gigs across the world followed their initial album tour and to date Supernova have played at some of the most established venues and festivals on the planet, includingElRow (Barcelona), Monegros Desert Festival, Ministry Of Sound (London), Cavo Paradiso (Mykonos), Privilege (Ibiza), Kazantip Festival (Ukraine), Tenax and Magazzini Generali (Italy), Space (Ibiza) and many many more.
In 2009 they started their own label Lapsus Music, a project that had been in the pipeline for some years but was only launched when they felt they had the necessary relationships within the industry in order to make it a success. “Initially it was hard to establish direct contact with the major download stores and we wanted to hold out until we could deal with them directly” says Giacomo of the decision. “It took a lot of times and effort but at the end we found the right channels.” The label has proved to be the idea way for the duo to express themselves, both in the music they themselves create and release and the artists they support, which to date include acts like Kerri Chandler, DJ Sneak, Tiger Stripes, DJ Pierre, Dj Chus, Noir, and more.
One of the more significant relationships of recent years has been Supernova’s continuing affiliation with house giant Defected Records. Signed to the label’s artist management offshoot Colluded Talent, Defected has released a number of the duo’s productions including remixes of seminal records ‘Can You Feel It’ and ‘Strings of Life’ as well as the more recent Cassandra and The Light Goes On EPs. Other notable releases outside of the Defected stable include acclaimed remixes for Kerri Chandler on Bar A Thym and Hallelujah for King Street Sounds as well as their top-charted remix on Jakatta’s American Dream and highly respected Electronic Love EP on their own Lapsus Music.
Their first major project of 2013 also comes from the Defected stable as they mix one third of the long-running and acclaimed Miami compilation series, along with fellow Italians Flashmob and Pirupa. This will be preceded by another EP on the label entitled The World is Crazy, a two-track EP which flirts with darker, deeper sounds while retaining their trademark dancefloor grooves and hooks.
Looking ahead, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of Supernova and perhaps the busiest year yet for the duo. “The projects on Defected will be followed by many others that will consolidate our wonderful relationship with this amazing family” enthuses Emiliano “while many other tracks are programmed with some other great labels.” These include their third (as yet unsigned) studio album, as well as a ‘Best of Supernova’ compilation to be released on their own Lapsus Music. “We believe in this rule: ‘work hard, hard, hard with a smile on your face always trying to do something better than the day before’. Following this rule has made us growing up step by step overcoming the difficult moments and getting the best possible results”.
For Supernova, music is their life, their language and a huge part of their relationship others people, and it shows in the work they produce. “We believe that we have a lot to say in terms of music and that our journey is just beginning. The only way to complete this journey in the right way is to do a lot of good music; it is our mission!”