The Dread Music Review had a chance to ask a few questions of psytrance legend Ace Ventura! But before we get into the Q&A, a bit of background for you on Yoni Oshrat, the man behind the music of Ace Ventura. Discovering the Israeli trance music scene in the early 90’s, he took to playing music as a DJ before teaming up with DJ Goblin to produce psychedelic trance. Releasing tracks first as Children Of The Doc and then as PSYSEX, they delivered three highly acclaimed albums before Oshrat spun his creative juices into solo work as Ace Ventura in 2006 with tracks like “Cardiac Arrest”. His 2007 Rebirth album was easily the best psytrance release that year, winning the Beatport Music Award for psytrance in 2008 – a feat he would repeat for 2009. If you were listening to trance in 2007 there is no way you could have missed hearing “The Light” from that album.
Since then he’s been touring the globe, playing major music events and acting as an ambassador for psychedelic trance the world over. This year Insomniac is bringing him to the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. We had a chance to ask him about growing up in a musical family, his current projects, and what’s coming next. Here’s what he had to say:
Your father, Kobi Oshrat, was both an internationally famous song writer and I read he was Yaakov Ventura before you were making music as Ace. How did that impact you growing up? Was it natural to turn to music in that environment? And what drew you to psytrance?
Yes, his original name was Jacob Ventura before he changed it to Jacob Oshrat, and that was the main reason for me choosing the Ace Ventura name. I was indeed surrounded by music growing up, having a sister addicted to 80’s pop music and my father taking me to studios while he worked. Even though I was headed into a career in movie post production and sound work, I ended up in the music world after all. I was always drawn to electronic music and psytrance was a natural evolution, I’ve been into it from the very beginning of the early 90’s. Discovering the psytrance party world sealed the deal.
We had Shahaf Efrat in town just recently. With both yourself and Freedom Fighters coming out of Israel, do you think there is something about your home country that lends itself to excellent psytrance? Also – considering how much fun The Encounter is, can we expect any additional collaborations between the two of you in the future?
Israel is probably the biggest ambassador of psytrance in the world – psytrance is a second language there. Israel is a beautiful place but life there can be very stressful at times, and people find refuge in the psychedelic trance world. That’s why you have so many parties happening, and so many producers as well. As for Freedom Fighters, you can definitely expect more coming from us in the future, as well as a new remix for one of his tracks which I’m finishing these days.
If you were going to work on music that was a significantly different musical genre, what would it be? What music genre have you most recently gotten excited about outside of psytrance?
I would love to make more downtempo electronica like I did 10 years ago. Outside of psytrance I listen mostly to electronica from the likes of Boards of Canada, Tipper, Pole, Isan, Luke vibert, Com Truise… and when I need to listen to something more aggressive I turn to heavy metal music.
Psytrance is not as well represented at the major music festivals as some others. Outside of yourself and Leiel, there isn’t going to be that much psytrance at EDC. How does working in a music genre outside of the more mainstream EDM environment affect you? Are you looking forward to bringing psytrance to EDC and a crowd that may not be as familiar with it?
Psytrance is an underground movement and always has been, and it’s fine… we do have amazing festivals in Europe which are devoted to psytrance, and they attract between 20 to 50 thousand people, and last for 3-8 days (Boom Festival, Ozora Festival, etc.) – That’s quite big (and very much recommended)! There are also big festivals in Australia, Brazil & Mexico.
Lately people in The US started to take note because I guess they are looking for something new – and I’m always happy to expose this music to fresh ears. I have been doing this for almost 20 years now so whenever I find a new territory to play in, it’s always exciting. Looking forward to playing in EDC for the 1st time to a new sector of audience.
Between Ace Ventura, Easy Riders, Liquid Ace, Schatsi, and Zentura, you seem to have a lot of outlets for creativity! What are you most excited about working on right now? Also – I love Zentura! What’s next for that project?
I am lucky to be surrounded by many talented people and friends and am privileged to be working with all of them. Zen Mechanics is an amazing producer and we will be making new tunes very soon for Zentura. But the next project on the horizon is actually a new one with non other than ASTRIX (whom I will be playing with b2b in EDC by the way) called ALPHA PORTAL. It’s a full power, faster psytrance style than our usual output, and we will debut the project in the upcoming Ozora Festival in hungary so stay tuned.
Speaking of Ace Ventura and Asterix, here’s an example of the two in action from the Ace Ventura album Paradise Engineering from last year!
We would like to thank Ace Ventura for taking the time to answer our questions. We will absolutely be there for his EDC set in just a couple short weeks! For more on Ace Ventura, take a look at his Facebook, YouTube Channel, Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram and Mixcloud.
Plus as a bonus, you can find some free downloads, and his last album at the links below: