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Culture Reviews
Doctor Zoil & Monsieur Blumenberg (Italy)
By Alana Marcu
What's two months in Moscow to most Muscovites at the start of winter?

Some say it's not even a warm up of what's to come. Others claim it's just a trial in mental preparation and will. And then there are those who feel as if two months in a city like Moscow is more than anyone may need for a lifetime.

For me, setting foot off that Aeroflot flight from New York at Sheremetyevo airport, only knowing how to say, da, niyet, spahseebo and pohzhalusta, and being 22 years old, after two months, everyday still feels like the first.

So, when expat.ru asked me to review Doktor Zoil and Monsieur Blumenberg at Cafe Keks, Saturday night, November 20, I didn't think twice about it. I hailed my first solo gypsy cab in Moscow and after some very broken and very pathetic haggling (in Russian of course), I found myself on the slick, orange, dimly lit street of Timura Frunze where I walked straight into the back lounge of Keks to find the Italian "bastard break beat" duo of Doktor Zoil and Monsieur Blumenberg eating, drinking, and talking to friends before the concert.

In true Italian fashion, the two were friendly, open and easy going to talk to, not only about their new Riviera Boogie project which they are currently promoting, but also about their interests and inspiration as musicians.

When asked about musical styles and where Riviera Boogie originated, Monsieur Blumenberg (also known as Chicco Montefiori) replied, "This particular one
(style) is bastard break beat...we like 60's and 70's soul...it is a mix of this, funk and bossanova...we were on the island of Capri when the idea came to us." With a nostalgic smile, Doktor Zoil added, "Capri is perfect...the weather, the food, the ambiance, just perfect."

While Capri may be the spot for inspiration, both Monsieur Blumenberg and Doktor Zoil agreed that Caf? Keks in Moscow is the ideal venue for playing their music. "This project works best in small clubs," Doktor Zoil said, "We like to see the girls dancing to
our music, and Russian women are just beautiful."

Russian women weren't the only ones doing the dancing on the compact dance floor. Everyone seemed to pack it in as the two played their eclectic mix of sax, flute, and bass combined with funky beats and energetic voices. Not bad for one of their first concerts with the new project.

However, Doktor Zoil and Monsieur Blumenberg are no strangers to the stage or the city of Moscow as they have performed here countless times over and plan on returning. "There is a great energy in this city and in the people," Doktor Zoil said, "It is always a pleasure to play here."

"And to be here," I smiled and silently thought to myself.

25.11.04
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