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Culture Reviews
SuperCasanova
By Nathaniel Williams
Love, Martini, and Playboy

At one of the hippest events to hit Moscow this summer, California based duo SuperCasanova spun their unique mix of lounge, surf, and 60's pop for a choice crowd at Italian restaurant Settebello on Saturday. It was more an intimate party than concert, and SuperCasanova could not have been happier about providing the music.
With an audience relaxed by the elegance of Settebello, and the abundant free drinks provided by Martini and Rossi, the show began around eleven as SuperCasanova manned two turntables in the restaurant’s stylish garden. The records they began to spin were at first so unobtrusively soothing that few attendees took notice, but after a few minutes the crowd began to respond. Partygoers sitting inside emerged to see the band, and the atmosphere lightened as conversations at tables picked up in time to the buoyant music of SuperCasanova.
The group filled the warm summer night with clean, flowing drums overlaid with saxophone, flute and lush strings. Subtle but infectious melodies were put through effects processors that shaped, but didn’t distort, the obscure retro-pop records that were the foundation of the set. The duo describes their style as “similar to the lounge sample groups like Ursula 1000, Nicola Conte and Dmitri from Paris” but also explained that they do not limit themselves to sampling records. “We take it to the next level because we have a vision of instruments. We have guys play and jam.” While so many DJs today spin either formulaic techno or chaotic experimental electronic, SuperCasanova in the end manages to be fresh while still adhering to traditional musical basics like rhythm, melody and harmony.
SuperCasanova is the newest creation of professional musicians The Millionaire and Eric Bonerz, both experienced players in the Los Angeles music industry. Their debut album should be released by Black Cat Records within the year. “We’re always working on something,’ said The Millionaire, who took a break from working on a soundtrack for a new film to appear at Settebello, ‘but SuperCasanova is our main project.” The group came to Moscow specifically for the show, and was set to return to Los Angeles the next day. “This is our one day tour. We got here yesterday, I think. It’s hard to tell because we’ve been doing so much. But I like it. It’s great for impressing our friends. ‘You’re going to Russia?!’ was all they could say,” laughed The Millionaire.
As the show progressed the mood of Settebello got lighter and lighter. “It’s the best show I’ve ever played,” said Eric Bonerz mid-performance while sorting through records. The event was part of Martini and Rossi’s “Viva La Vita” party series- co-sponsored by Playboy- and the young, affluent and distinctly elite audience seemed to understand the concept of a proper Lounge Party: good drinks, urbane conversation, and excellent music. The audience became relaxed enough that groups of people began to slowly make their way to the turntables to ask questions, or just chat with The Millionaire and Eric. The pair took it all in stride, the music never skipping a beat.
It was SuperCasanova’s first appearance in Russia, though The Millionaire had visited Moscow previously to perform a DJ set at Justo. “We love it here,’ said Eric, ‘this is our kind of place.” With the stunning atmosphere of Settebello, the great music, free Martinis, and beautiful people all around, the audience definitely agreed.

05.07.03
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