Interview with Ace Ventura “An honest look at the King of Psychedelic Trance”

6 12月 , 2017  

“An honest look at the King of Psychedelic Trance”
Interview with Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura インタビュー

Date: Nov. 29th 2017
Interviewer: Masaaki Obari (ageHa / DANCE ON THE PLANET)
Translator: AJ (Ligaya, The Church of Trance)

Ace Ventura, also known by his real name of Yoni Oshrat, was born in Israel, 1977. He has a family which he loves dearly consisting of his wife, two children, plus two cats, three rabbits, and a turtle. They all live in Switzerland while Yoni races around the globe on the weekends to DJ.

Born into a musical family, Yoni’s father is a famous composer and songwriter whose former family name is “Ventura.” This is the origin of the artist name “Ace Ventura”—not the movies starring Jim Carrey.

Yoni started his DJ career in the early 90s, teaming up with his friend DJ Goblin to eventually form the unit “Psysex,” which then released three albums from HOMmega. After that, Yoni’s musical taste shifted towards the slower and groovier, resulting in his leaving Psysex in 2006. He started to accelerate a project he began in late 2004, “Ace Ventura”—the first track for which he released in early 2005. In 2007, he released an album titled “Rebirth” from Iboga. Everything henceforth is as is commonly known, with Ace becoming a leading figure of the psychedelic scene, pulling off regular performances at Ozora, a stunning five-hour set at Boom, and much, much more.

2015 marked the release of “Paradise Engineering,” his first full album in eight years. It showcased a masterful crossover between progressive and psychedelic sounds—featuring collaborations with such massive names as Juno Reactor, Astrix, Liquid Soul, Zen Mechanics, Loud, and Symbolic. Even in Japan, Ace continues to make himself boldly known with a performance track record spanning the official Ozora Festival party at Shin-Kiba’s ageHa (Jan. 2015), Solstice Music Festival at the Cycle Sports Center (Aug. 2015), and a show with his friend Perfect Stranger as the legendary unit “Perfect Ace”—also at ageHa (Oct. 2016).

サイケデリックトランスの王者Ace Venturaは、1977年、イスラエルに生まれ、音楽一家で育った。父はイスラエルの有名なソングライターでもあり、Ace Venturaの名前の由来にもなっている。(父のファミリーネームが以前はVenturaだったことにから来ている。けっしてジム・キャリー主演の映画からの引用ではない)
90年代初頭にDJとしての活動を始め、友人のDJ Goblinと組んで、後にPsysexというユニットとして活動。日本にも度々来日した。やがて彼の音楽はよりグルービーな方向性へと向かっていき、2004年にAce Venturaとして活動をスタート。今や、OZORA FestivalやBOOM Festivalといった、サイケデリックシーンきってのフェスティバルでプレイ。シーンをリードする存在として確固たる地位を築いた。現在は愛する2人の子どもと奥さん、そして2匹の猫、3匹のウサギ、1匹のカメと共にスイスで暮らしている。そして週末はDJとして世界を飛び回っており、12月9日(土)には、ageHaのパーティーに出演を控えている。
彼のビジョンと人間性をより多くの人々に知ってもらいたい。そう思い、パーティーのオーガナイザーであるDANCE ON THE PLANETがAce Venturaに話を聞いた。


His Childhood and Loving Family.

The first impression we get from you is of an immensely kind and intelligent human being. It is also known that you are a cat person with a wonderful, sometimes childlike (in a good way!) sense of humor. The pictures you put up on social media are absolutely hysterical, for example.

When your own children do something bad, how do you go about scolding them?




: Ace Ventura
– Luckily I have an amazing woman at home taking care of our children and educating them well while I’m away. She did a great job raising them to be kind and well behaved kids, so it’s not often that I have to punish them. They don’t watch a lot of TV, but like every kid, they love it—so the easiest way to get to them is to take their TV rights.….

– I grew up in the 80s surrounded by music. My father often took me to his studio sessions, but even more influential was my sister, who was deep into 80s music—listening to and watching music programs like Top of the Pops on a daily basis. So a lot of that music, especially the more synth-pop stuff and new wave bands, were fused into my DNA. I was also always fascinated by the cinema and home video. At an early age, upon watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller, I was drawn into horror movies—an addiction I carry to this day.


80年代は音楽に囲まれて青春を過ごした。父がよく自分のスタジオ・セッションに同行させてくれた。でも実は、それよりも影響を与えてくれたのはエイティーズ・ミュージックにはまっていた姉だったんだ。彼女は毎日、『Top of the Pops』などの音楽番組を聴いたり、見たりしていた。だから、そういった音楽、特にシンセ・ポップやニュー・ウェーヴ系のバンドは、俺のDNAの一部になっている。また、シネマ(映画館)とホーム・ビデオにも関心があって、幼いころにマイケル・ジャックソンの『スリラー』を見てから、ホラー映画に魅了され、今でもホラー映画中毒さ。


We know you lead an extremely busy life as of late, but please allow us a little window into what goes on.
Would you be able to share some recent surprising or interesting episodes?


Life Changes

: Ace Ventura

I’ll give you two.
I’m lately becoming much more aware of the food I’m putting into my body and have been on a vegetarian roll for a few weeks. It will be very hard to keep that going with all the yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo, but I’m very happy and excited about a new, healthy chapter in my life.
Also, I’m finding a lot of interest in real psychedelic music lately. Labels like Sangoma and Parvati are the places I now turn to for my trance fix.

そして、ここのところ、real psychedelic musicにわりと興味があって、トランスを聴きたくなった時はSangoma(やParvati(といったレーベルを聴いている。

What about your party life? Has there been anything surprising there?


: Ace Ventura
-it’s hard to surprise me a lot after seventeen years of touring, but I never take the love from the fans and party people for granted, so it’s always heart-warming and sometimes surprising to get all the love I do..


The Explosive Five-Hour Boom Set
完全無欠のBOOM 2016 5時間セット

The guest country for last year’s Boom Festival was Japan, resulting in many Japanese making the trip over. Your five-hour set then was a musical journey that blew all minds present. Another impressive feat was you dancing from start to finish with such electric energy amidst the desert-like heat of peak time, and for a full five hours, no less. It certainly was the most dynamic and spirited set at the Dance Temple stage. Due to your busy schedule, we assume you do not have much time to make it to the gym—so how is it that you stay so healthy?

Please share your secret with us. It would be splendid if you could tell us your favorite foods as well.

それは、Dance Templeでプレイした他の誰よりもエネルギッシュなプレイでした。

: Ace Ventura
Unfortunately I don’t have time to go to the gym with my hectic schedule, but I do have a treadmill at home, so I try to run when I can. Again, I must mention my wife, who prepares amazing and healthy food every day, which really helps keep the family healthy. We eat a mostly plant-based diet at home nowadays, and as I said, I have lately made the change to vegetarian from carnivore. However, I’ve always enjoyed eating good meat in countries like Brazil or Japan where the quality is really high.
Playing at places like Boom or Ozora is what makes me happy and charges me for the whole year. I feel like I’m flying during these sets and not really connected to reality. The last five-hour Boom set felt like thirty minutes. I feel very lucky to receive such long set times at the main stage of Boom, as well as to return to Ozora every year!


Much like Boom, the Oregon Eclipse festival saw a great many Japanese in attendance. How many times have you personally witnessed a solar eclipse?


: Ace Ventura
– It was the first total solar eclipse that I ever witnessed, so that made the whole festival experience very special for me. These were moments I will remember my whole life.


It must be mentioned that you performed as Perfect Ace at this festival—as with your last ageHa show. There are also rumors floating around that you made a new song with an eclipse theme. Can you verify these rumors?
Finally, what was playing at Oregon Eclipse like for you? And what was the eclipse experience itself like?

そこで、あなたは前回のageHaでプレイしたPerfect Aceとしてもパフォーマンスしていましたね。また皆既日食をテーマにした新曲を作ったという話も聞きました。本当ですか?

: Ace Ventura
– I cannot confirm or deny at this stage, but I can say that I recorded the amazing sound of people cheering to the eclipse, so this definitely will go in a track at some point…
It was awesome and a big privilege to have three sets at such an epic event. The festival itself felt very special because of the location and the ultra-clear eclipse. And the psy trance stage was a gathering of amazing people—a big pleasure to play for such a gang. I also spent a lot of time on the dance floor, listening and dancing to amazing sets from Perfect Stranger, Zen Mechanics, Loud, Hallucinogen, Grouch, and Captain Hook. Experiencing the eclipse itself felt like a very special moment in time. I felt very lucky to be there…

いずれにしても、こんなにも壮大なイベントで3セットもプレイできてすごく良かったし光栄に思う。(Ace Venturaの他にZenturaおよびPerfectAceとしてもプレイした)
あと、フロアの方でもたくさん過ごした。Perfect Stranger、Zen Mechanics、Loud、Hallucinogen、Grouch、Captain Hookによるすごいセットを聴いて、踊った。日食という体験はとても有意義だと感じて、その場所にいれたのも幸運だと感じたよ。

The Iboga label owner Emok is the one who asked me about getting this Japan iTunes-only compilation started. It is a very interesting idea with a lot of potential, amplified by the fact that fixed-fee streaming services such as Spotify are not widely used here—making Japan’s music market unique.
Please tell us how you went about selecting the tracks for this compilation.


About the Japan-Only iTunes Compilation
iTunes 日本限定コンピレーションについて

: Ace Ventura
– I was asked to make a compilation of only my own tracks and remixes, so I looked back and selected works that either felt special to me or that had a special impact on dance floors. It was not easy, but I hope it all added up to a nice journey of my years as Ace Ventura.

自分のトラックとリミックスだけでコンピレーションを作るように言われたので、過去を振り返って、自分にとって特別だと感じた、あるいはフロアで特別なインパクトがあった曲を選んだ。簡単じゃなかったけど、総じて、Ace Venturaの歴史を辿っていく良い旅になれたらと思う。

Also, with you being a social media guru, how do you predict music-listening trends will change in the future? Do you want them to change?


: Ace Ventura
That is a hard question. On one hand, it is clear that we are going towards a total virtual consumption of music, with streaming on the uprise and the CD on its way to extinction. On the other hand, you also see an uprise in vinyl sales, which indicates people with real love for music in its physical form. So, it’s really hard to say what comes next. I personally also love holding a CD with a booklet or having a big beautiful vinyl in my hands, and still buy those. But I also enjoy having a huge bank of music on my phone or computers, so I would like to continue to enjoy both worlds as much as possible!


「BEST for JAPAN compiled by Ace Ventura」
【iTunes 購入リンク】

価格 : 13曲 900円 (11/24〜12/22限定・通常価格1,200円)
収録楽曲 :

  1. Ace Ventura – Going back
  2. Ace Ventura – Rebirth (Gaudium remix)
  3. Ace Ventura & Vini Vici – The calling
  4. Ace Ventura – Stomping ground (Bliss remix)
  5. Ace Ventura & Astrix – Pranava (Ranji & Mindspin remix)
  6. Ace Ventura & Juno reactor – Ingonyama
  7. Ace Ventura & LISH – The light (Astrix remix)
  8. Ace Ventura & Symbolic – The world that you know
  9. Ace Ventura & Zen mechanics – Mind=God
  10. FREq – Short life again (Ace Ventura remix)
  11. Ace Ventura – Presence (Interactive noise remix)
  12. Ace Ventura & Captain Hook – EBE
  13. Ace Ventura – Brave new world


For your upcoming ageHa performance, you will be headlining along with X-Dream and Alex Tolstey’s trance project, Acid Black. X-Dream, in particular, has a strong fanbase in Japan. You also performed with them at 2010’s Solstice Final Blast party.

Video link:
(The show included a splendid list of other such acts as Logic Bomb, Dimitri DKN, and Alien Project.)

With the above in mind, what are your thoughts about this next ageHa show? What are your hopes?

今回のageHaではX-DREAM、そしてAlex Tolsteyのトランス名義ACID BLACKと共演しますね。特にX-DREAMは日本において根強い人気があります。またあなたは2010年のSOLSTICE FINAL BLASTパーティーでX-DREAMと共演しました。【動画URL】 (この時の共演者は他にもLOGIC BOMB、DIMITRI D.K.N、ALIEN PROJECTなど豪華な顔ぶれでした。)それを踏まえ、今回の共演についてどう思いますか?また、どんなことを期待しますか?

: Ace Ventura
– First of all it’s a big honor to be playing with X-Dream. I remember being very excited touring with them back in the day in Japan. By now, I know them well as people who I like very much, but in the 90s they were a huge inspiration which took me deeper into trance. So, it always feels special playing alongside X-dream in a party. Secondly, ageHa is one of my favorite clubs in the whole world—a big massive space with great sound and years of party culture behind it (and I love the big cinema board at the entrance which displays the lineup of every party—the coolest club entrance ever!) I’m hoping for another fun night with the amazing Japanese people, like I’ve had every time I played there in the past.


Musical Background in Israel

Why do you think Israel is such a prolific source of talent in the fields of trance and other music? A lot of the Japanese audience is still stunned by this fact.
Could it be that Israel possesses a cultural background making it more socially acceptable for young people to pursue a career in music?
Please recount for us some of the joys and difficulties accompanying your journey in becoming a musician. And what of the other musicians around you—any poignant stories concerning them?


: Ace Ventura
– No that definitely is NOT the reason. Israel is a beautiful country, with some serious security problems that affect the lives of its people. Music is a great form of escapism, especially psy trance music which is generally strong, fast, and mind altering—a perfect way to escape day-to-day reality. In my opinion, this is why you always meet so many Israelies in psy trance festivals around the world, and that is why there are also so many Israeli psy trance producers.

When I started psy trance production at the end of the 90s, it was much more difficult. You couldn’t make music just with a computer. Audio technology was still distant and you had to have external synthesizers, mixers, samplers—the whole lot. Today is a different story. But it was a great journey getting to this point.
I started in the scene as a fan, admiring and following so many artists from Israel and around the world, so it gives me great pleasure to be able to collaborate with them nowadays. The best example would be Juno Reactor, whose “Bible of Dreams” album is my favorite psy trance album of all time. It was a dream come true to produce a track with Juno’s Ben Watkins for my last album.


自分はイスラエルをはじめ世界中のアーティストを好きになり、憧れ、まずファンとして音楽シーンに入った。だから、今その憧れのアーティストとコラボできるのは本当に嬉しいことなんだ。代表的な例は、Juno Reactor。彼らのアルバム『Bible of Dreams』は俺の最も好きなサイケデリックトランス・アルバムだ。自分のアルバムのために、Juno ReactorのBen Watkinsと一緒にトラックを作れたのは夢のような出来事だった。

In a past interview, you said “Brave New World,” a track featured on the Paradise Engineering album, was inspired by Aldous Huxley’s novel of the same name.

The novel is a dystopian piece that paints a picture of a possible future. It is very intriguing to think such a work forms part of the “Paradise Engineering” theme. Huxley has also written other such novels as “The Doors of Perception”—an account of a psychedelic experience. His work is said to have influenced such figures as Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, and John C. Lilly. From the above, we see that you are an artist who seeks the true essence of psychedelic music.

When it comes to creating psychedelic music, Huxley would be an example of a “non-musical” inspiration. Can you tell us about other such places you derive this mystical creative spark from?

過去にあなたが答えていたインタビューにおいてあなたのアルバム「Paradise Engineering」の楽曲「Brave New World」が、オルダス・ハクスリーの小説「Brave New World(邦題・すばらしい新世界)」から着想を得た。ということを知りました。
『すばらしい新世界』は時代を先取りしたディストピア小説であり、それが「Paradise Engineering」というテーマの一部をなしていることは興味深いものでした。
そして、オルダス・ハクスリーは「すばらしい新世界」以外にも「The doors of perception(邦題・知覚の扉)


: Ace Ventura
– Inspiration comes to me in all forms of art (music, movies, literature, paintings, web art, and so on), as well as impactful moments on the dance floor and great moments playing at a party. Most of all, however, inspiration comes from the people around me—the psy trance scene is filled with great talent and very special personalities.


In Closing…

At Dance on the Planet, when it comes to party creation, how we have the audience focus on the music is our number one priority. As with the title of your full album “Paradise Engineering” and the sign at Ozora’s entrance, “Welcome to Paradise”—the theme and name of our party is “PARADISE.”

To us, the audience is not a bunch of customers, they are an important part of our party-making crew. That is why you, the DJ, do not simply have to give to us. You can ask of us as well. So, if there is anything at all you would like us, the organizers and the audience, to do for you via the party  —please let us know!

私たちDance on the Planetは、オーディエンスに対して、いかに音楽にフォーカスしてもらうのか?ということを第一に考えてパーティーを作っています。そして、あなたのフルアルバムのタイトル「Paradise Engineering」、OZORAフェスティバルのエントランスに掲げられたメッセージ「WELCOME TO PARADISE」と同じ「PARADISE」というテーマをパーティーの名前に掲げています。私たちは、オーディエンスは単にお客さんではなく、パーティーを一緒に作るクルーであると考えています。だからあなたは、与えるだけでなく求めることもできます。パーティーを通して、私たちオーガナイズやオーディエンスに期待することがあれば教えてください。

: Ace Ventura
– You don’t have to do anything but be yourselves. I am grateful to return to Tokyo, which is definitely my favorite city in the world. I’ve been coming to Japan for many years and every time it is an amazing experience. Dance on the Planet has always hosted me very well and the parties are always highly enjoyable, so I am looking forward to my visit very much!

俺のために何かをする必要はないよ。俺は東京に戻れるだけで感謝でいっぱいなんだ。東京は間違いなく、世界で一番好きな街。昔から来てるけど、毎回すごい体験になる。そして、DANCE ON THE PLANETはいつも良くしてくれるし、パーティーはいつも楽しい。だから、今回も来日をすごく楽しみにしてるんだよ。


■More on Ace Ventura:

■Event Information:

■Facebook event page:



Comments are closed.