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Giuseppe Ottaviani

688_271_Screen_shot_2011-02-17_at_14.53_.36_Giuseppe Ottaviani, the old-school Italian trance impresario, is in town for Pure Trance 2. He’ll be playing Metros tonight, Friday 11, alongside Solarstone and SNEIJDER. As LILY YEANG discovers, he’s an adamant trance purist.

What is your definition of trance?

I used to say that “Music is a supernatural power, that succeeds to manipulate peoples emotions with its vibrations” and this, of course, perfectly applies to Trance music.

Have you always wanted to do trance music? If not, what did you want to do?

 I always wanted to do a genre that could blend together the beautiful and emotional melodies of classical music with the energy of dance beats. I didn’t even know it was called trance when I firstly discovered it back in the late ’90s.

Do you think trance music has changed since you started? If so, how?

Trance music evolved a lot over the past 10 years and it reached a point where the original feeling was almost lost. Uncontrolled mixes with new sounds made trance identity quite confused lately. Proud to be part of the Pure Trance Movement (by Solarstone) I’m trying to contribute to bring back its “purity”.

On the other hand, outside the Pure Trance concept, I like to keep trance music evolving and I like to take certain elements of the new sounds into that in order to always deliver something fresh, as long as this mix of elements won’t change the real identity of trance.

How does it feel when you’re performing to a live audience?

It feels alive. It’s not like playing CDs, it’s all about playing music live that gives such a special feeling and the fact that I play my music only (including remixes and reworks of course) makes the “live experience” sounding like a concert more than a DJ set. It’s fulfilling for me and it’s different every time so that every show is unique.

What does it mean, to you, to perform ‘live’?

Live music for me means to play music from a real instrument when on stage and not playing CDs or USB sticks – that’s not a live performance, it’s a DJ set. When you go to a concert of your favorite band you expect them to play live, you don’t expect them to play CDs. Obviously I’m not pretending to be a band and with only two hands I need the help of my laptops, but still bringing on stage my keyboards and midi controllers allow me to deliver a live show (as much as I can) and above all it allows me to improvise changing melodies and sounds (this is how Magenta Live album edition was born), and this is what makes every show different.

What do you think of those DJs who do live sets from a CD or USB?

It’s perfectly fine. I’m also going to play my first official DJ set in NYC very soon, I simply don’t call it a live set.

Is there anyone on the trance/EDM scene that has caught your eye lately? Any new, up and coming artists we should look out for?

I’m recently fell in love with Matt Holliday’s music. His upcoming single called “New Leaf” will be released on my label GOONAIR Recordings in September. Watch out for it.

What attracts you to doing collaborations and remixes?

I like to make collaborations because I really enjoy seeing other producers’ different approaches to making music. It’s an experience that always brings something new to me in terms of inspiration. There’s always something good to learn from every one.

Regarding remixes, well, I usually have my own vision of music for every track out there. There are few that I wouldn’t touch or change a single thing about, but for all the rest I’m always feeling like changing something to perfectly match my taste or in many cases to change a lot. Remixes sometimes allow me to express myself through others’ music.

What do you think about the trance crowd in Western Australia? How do they rate to other cities in the world?

It’s not about rating or making comparisons between all the different crowds. There’s not a good or a bad one, just different ones. The moment you learn how a specific crowd from a specific place reacts to the music, then you’re able to judge if you was able to please them or not.

Tell us about MAGENTA LIVE. What’s it all about, what inspired you to produce the album?

I always wanted to capture that “live feeling” I have every time I perform into a CD, but it required a long process.  This process actually started immediately after the original edition was released last year.  As I said before, I’m a live performer. I do play my music live on stage and I always like to improvise and test new sounds and new melodies while playing my original tracks. Since I started to play the tracks from the Magenta album I also started to find new ideas which I kept performing over and over. So after a year I’ve realized that I had more than enough material to actually remix the whole album myself rather than ask other producers.

Each track comes from a live experience and each track is related to that specific night, place, city, crowd and feeling. Every track brings back memories.

Additionally, I have recorded the entire album live in Buenos Aires and this has been included on the album release. So you get 2 CDs. Disc 1 contains the live recording from Buenos Aires and Disc 2 contains the full versions of those tracks I’ve performed in Argentina. Moreover, since Disc 1 has been performed live, it has a few elements and parts that you won’t find in the full track.

What’s your favourite song from the album, and why?

My favorite is “Love Will Bring It All Around” with Eric Lumiere. I’ve been a fan of Eric for long time and always wanted to make a collaboration with him – finally I got the chance, and the song sounds exactly like what I was expecting from this collaboration. I’ve been waiting few years, but finally we made it happen.

You’ve been on the trance scene for a while. How do you keep things fresh?

As I said before, I’m not against the evolution of Trance music, so long as it evolves without losing its roots and identity. Music in general, just like technology, continuously evolves, and so do I, it’s a natural process that always allows me to have a different approach to the music over the years. I like to make music sound different and fresh as much as I want to be able to call it trance.

Why do you do GO On Air?

Haha, that’s a long story. It’s the name of my radio show that goes live every Friday at 10pm CET on, and since February it is also the name of my records label.

GO stands for Giuseppe Ottaviani, OnAir is related to the radio “being broadcast” but it also means “in the air” since I used to make my radio shows on the plane. It’s a bit of a mess but it gives you the idea, right? Check out for some more info.

What can we expect of your show next weekend?

I’m celebrating GOONAIR 100th episode with a special GOONAIR Recordings session featuring all the artists and the highlights of the label so far. You can follow the show on and of course on Twitter by #GOA100

What’s coming up next for Mr Ottaviani?

I’ll be releasing a new GOONAIR compilation around the end of September. All of the music will be 100% exclusive material so it will be music that people have never heard before. We’re going to be featuring fresh new names which is something the Go On Air radio show and record label want to do. I want to give a voice to the great music that is around which hasn’t been really noticed yet from the big names.

Then I have a new and exciting project together with Solarstone called Pure NRG. We’re combining the PURE trance of Solarstone with the NRG of my typical style which is indeed also taken from my NU NRG era. And just before you or other people will ask, it has nothing to do with NU NRG, which was my ex-project. That project is closed and that’s it. The reason why it’s called Pure NRG is because that’s the direction we’re taking the sound. Pure NRG is a live act, in our live shows we will play exclusive edits, remixes and tracks you can only hear as part of Pure NRG live. I am actually in the studio right now with Rich working on new music as Pure NRG for the project. Let me just give you a little hint, while many DJs these days are playing B2B, we will play what we call “M2M”. Stay tuned:


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