Yoni Oshrat is the name behind progressive psytrance project Ace Ventura and is considered one of the most in demand artists today.
It’s been a decade since Yoni Oshrat has gone solo as Ace Ventura, after successfully releasing as Children of the Doc and Psysex in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
He’s also formed projects alongside the likes of Astrix (as Alpha Portal), Liquid Soul (as Liquid Ace), Zen Mechanics (as Zentura), Rocky (as Easy Riders) just to name a few collaborations.
A favourite in Cape Town, Ace Ventura returns for Love & Light on the 23rd December alongside Liquid Soul, Human Element, Protoculture (as Shadow Chronicles) and more.
Hi Yoni. To start, when did you become involved in music?
I’ve been a DJ since around the age of 14, doing private birthday parties for kids, then moving on to spinning teenagers parties in clubs. I’ve been into electronic music since forever, following dance music from the late 80’s till mid nineties, when i discovered goa trance.
It was love at first listen, and after a few years of going to underground parties in Israel every weekend, I decided to have a go at producing. Together with DJ Goblin, we formed Children of the doc, which after a short while turned into Psysex. We had quite a global success, until 2006 when we split and turned to solo ways.
Quite a few full on artists made the transition to progressive. Do you think its quick rise in popularity lead to watered down releases from artists trying to ride the wave?
You are right on the money. At the moment progressive music is anything but. You can still find a few artists who are still loyal to the original progressive vibes but they are a handful. Like every few years we are apparently in the end of a musical cycle… the genre has peaked, but can still take a while until it resets.
It’s been a few years since your last full length album. Is the LP format still viable?
The album prestige status isn’t was it used to be indeed, but there is still some demand from it both from the fans as from promoters. So once in a while its good to put it out there, plus its always nice to listen to a complete long journey than to a single track.
You’ve worked on an insane amount of collaborations. What makes a collaboration between two artists work well?
It does not always work, but when it does, its great. Two minds are greater than one… Its also very helpful when one is quite busy, the other can keep working and vice versa. In terms of promotion it also doubles the power. I also really enjoy playing back to back in parties with a friend.
Roughly 2 years ago you formed Alpha Portal (with Astrix), which represents a harder style from the two of you.
We both had a kind of psychedelic renaissance a couple of years ago while spending some time on the dance floors listening to kickass sets by psychedelic producers. The need for speed and raw energy rose again and we decided to dedicate a separate project for that output. We know each other since many years and made a few progressive collaborations but felt that the time is right to go back to the source with Alpha Portal.
We’ve seen psytrance and progressive psytrance featured at mainstream dance events. Do you think this adoption is good for the scene?
I do. It open minds first to psychedelic music, and then hopefully to a psychedelic lifestlye of awareness and kindness. I see nothing wrong with that, and i’m positive that the underground scene is strong enough to keep going as it is.
While its on an uprise in places like the United States at the moment, I am doubtful that it can blow up to monster proportions, as it is still just too psychedelic and complex for the big masses.
You’re incredibly active on your social media channels. Is it an important role?
Its not just important, its a must. With the overflow of so many new producers around, combined with the short attention span of this generation, making music, as good as it is – isn’t enough. If you want to actually be heard you must get yourself out there and let the public know about it.
I’ve also noticed you feature other artists on your page. Is cross-promotion important between artists?
There are few reasons for that. First, I am a fan of good music, and there is lots of that out there. Secondly, this scene is built on friendships, connections and a being a part of a community.
I really believe in that, and see no point in posting only pictures of yourself posing in a party on your social media. In the end of the day, you are both sharing good music with the world, and also supporting your peers in the process.
We’re almost wrapping up 2017; have there been any highlights for you as an artist?
Its hard to believe indeed. Time is moving so fast, especially when you have children and spend each weekend in a different country or continent. It was another fine year touring wise and a great summer season.
One of my highlights has been a downtempo set in the dome stage at Ozora, followed by the ‘Paradise rediscovered’ remixes ep from downtempo producers. Very refreshing to get out the comfort zone once in a while.
Watching the full solar eclipse and taking part in the global eclipse gathering in Oregon were a big highlight on all levels.
What’s the worst part about constant touring?
Annoying flights and airport security, lack of sleep and jetlags, being away from home and the family, and a serious lack of proper studio time…
How do you spend your downtime between gigs?
Taking it easy isn’t really an option nowadays, but we do what we can. Some herbs do the trick usually! Nature walks, movies, music and the occasional video game all help. And yes, animals are awesome, soothing and great companions!
You’ve been to South Africa several times. What makes it special and why are you excited to return?
I have been coming to South Africa almost every years since 2002. It’s always great!
The weather, landscape and people all make for an awesome, relaxed vibe. The parties in South Africa are always super friendly and positive. It’s literally a good experience every time.
So hell yeah, I’m excited to be back in the country!
Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Next release is an Ace Ventura collaboration with Ryanosaurus, An Easy riders Remix for LOUD’s Africa 101, and an Alpha Portal collaboration with Mad Tribe. I can give a hint that early 2018 will hold a very surprising and big release from me on Future Music Records, and we will leave it at that!
Thanks for the interview, see you at Love & Light!
Get ready to get down, its gonna be massive as always. Will come for a few days so this gonna be good. Can’t wait and see you all soon!