Supernova: Tuscan Housemasters

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For Supernova, it all came naturally.

In fact, Giacomo Godi says that when he first collaborated with Emiliano Nencioni on a one-off project in 2002, it felt as if the two DJ/producers had already been working together for years. And now 15 years later, as Supernova, they’re still making tracks and traveling the world as DJs/electronic-music performers.


Over that time, the Florence, Italy-based team has released music on a variety of top labels – Defected, Get Physical, Noir Music – and done remixes for classic tracks like Frankie Knuckles’ “The Whistle Song” and Derrick May’s “Strings of Life.” Since 2009, the duo has run its Lapsus Music imprint. Among its more recent releases come the crunchy tech-house “City Lights” EP (Elrow), the sample-happy “Revelation” EP (Lapsus), the grooving “The Wild Weekend” EP (8bit), and look for the April release of its remix for “Do It Well” by Roger Sanchez and Mike Vale.

And now as we arrive at Miami Music Week, the duo has several appearances on tap, including a gig at the Stereo Productions showcase at Heart on March 25. Also, at Winter Music Conference, Supernova will participate in the “Jetsetters: The Artistry & Business of the Global DJ” panel on March 23. DJ Times recently caught up with the Tuscan housemasters – Supernova’s Giacomo Godi and Emiliano Nencioni.

DJ Times: What are your musical backgrounds?
Emiliano Nencioni: I studied piano in my early days and then turned into a DJ. Giacomo started DJing at private parties and then began to study piano.

DJ Times: What was the music scene like in Florence when you were starting?
Nencioni: The scene in Florence and Tuscany has always been a good one, even when we were growing up. We started DJing when the first house music from Chicago was coming out. We were immediately influenced by this new musical wave that was totally different from the past.

DJ Times: The discotheque/nightclub has always been a big part of Italian culture. Why?
Giacomo Godi: Italians love to party and make noise everywhere, and they have a really strong passion and culture for music. House music is still the hottest genre in the electronic industry for sure, and Italians are very hot crowd. Latin people will never disappoint.

DJ Times: Between you two, is there a breakdown of duties when it comes to DJing, studio work, running the Lapsus Music label, etc.?
Godi: We like to be involved in every aspect of our work. We try to work together both in the studio and the DJ booth as much as we can, even if we have to work separately sometimes. There are millions of things to do every day… DJing, producing, label promos selection, research music, growing new artists, building new events, parties or showcases, meetings…

DJ Times: What studio DAW do you use and why?
Nencioni: We use Ableton Live as production software. It’s fast and versatile—love the “drag-and-drop” conception.

DJ Times: What else? Hardware? What’s your process?
Godi: We love to mix up vinyl samples with sounds pulled out from our hardware analog synths, like the [Sequential Circuits] Prophet-5, [Moog] Minimoog Voyager, [Roland] Juno-60 or [Dave Smith Instruments] Pro 2 just to name a few. We use most of the UAD plug-ins to mix and master the tracks, but always going through some analog summing mixers from API or Dangerous Music.

DJ Times: Anything you cannot live without?
Nencioni: Our Audio Scope audio-measuring instrument is a must-have to find out the right balance between frequencies every time.

DJ Times: On the “Revelation” EP, you really have some tension-filled, tech-house tunes with choice samples, like Public Enemy and Orbital, going on there…
Godi: Yes, our main inspirations on that EP were some good samples coming from our vinyl collection. We had the use of samples in mind for a long time and wanted to build the whole EP around them to give it a nice, old-school flavor.

DJ Times: In the DJ booth, what gear do you prefer?
Nencioni: We just request two [Pioneer] DJM-900 mixers, as we both play with laptop and controllers. At the moment, we are doing a DJ set mixed with some live elements, playing with [Native Instruments] Traktor and Ableton Live at same time on two separate laptops, synched manually. We started with vinyl, of course, and played with them for a long time. We still love them and have a big vinyl collection in the studio.

DJ Times: What are your favorite venues or parties to play?
Nencioni: Elrow because it’s the best party in the world and we’ve been playing with them since their first sold-out parties in Barcelona. Heart in Miami because it’s the new spot in one of the funnest cities of the world—it’s the place to be for the past two years. Also, our Lapsus Music Showcase around the world because we have the opportunity to share our concept of clubbing with a lot friends and fans of the label.

DJ Times: Running a label these days isn’t easy – what’s the secret for keeping it going?
Nencioni: A real passion and feeling for people and music, the desire to help colleagues and friends share what you have and what you know…and lots of work every day!

DJ Times: Any advice for young DJs?
Godi: Work hard, work hard and work hard. Do your thing trying to find your own sound and never give up!

DJ Times: What’s the best part of your job? What keeps you going?
Godi: Wake up in the morning doing what you like and share your music with all the people of the world. That’s super.