Giuseppe Ottaviani: Vandit vanguard

He may not be as instantly recognisable as Ferry Corsten or Armin van Buuren, but Italy’s Giuseppe Ottaviani has very nearly played just as important a part in he development of trance over the past decade. It was back in the ‘golden year’ of trance in 1999 that his sounds first began flooding the clubs after he booted up his famed NU NRG project with fellow producers Andrea Ribeca and Giacomo Miccichíยจ. The group was responsible for a string of trance smashers like Casino, Connected and Free Fall that’ll live on forever in the hearts of laser-kissed ravers around the world. In 2005 he decided to go it alone, quickly proving there’d be much more to the Giuseppe Ottaviani legacy than his involvement with NU-NRG.

Giuseppe has been releasing music on Paul van Dyk’s imprint Vandit Records since 2001, and his relationship with the Berlin dance music mainstay has certainly been a strong one. PVD has been a supporter of Giuseppe’s unmistakable brand of melodic euphoria since the very beginning, but it was taken to the next level when the pair worked together on several tracks on his acclaimed In Between album. In 2008, with Vandit stepping into the spotlight with a bigger presence than ever before, Giuseppe is leading the charge. His epic single No More Alone has dominated as one of the year’s biggest anthems, and he’s taken it on the road with PVD with a world tour showcasing the record label. Australia is about to get a taste when Giuseppe lands for a series of live shows with the Stereosonic festival, along with two club shows playing alongside his label boss Paul van Dyk. ITM speaks to the Vandit vanguard.

You have a strong musical background, beginning piano lessons at the age of four. Do you still use the skills you learnt when studying music as a young boy?

Of course, I fortunately had the chance to study piano for many years and it helps me a lot to make good melodies which actually are the ‘main thing’ in all my productions.

What attracted you to trance music in particular?

Since I come from classical education melody is what always gives me the strongest emotions in every kind of music. Basically it’s the same with trance music.

Do you prefer trance music with vocals or without?

I think that trance is a perfect blend between classical music and techno beats, so I absolutely prefer no vocals on that. Anyone remember Psychic Harmony Mystic Force? That was one of my first loves. By the way sometimes nice vocals are welcome, but I prefer short lyrics instead than a full vocal track.

You have been the subject of high acclaim, with people praising your live performances. What is so unique about your live shows?

I always play my music only including productions, remixes, ID tracks and new demos. It’s not a DJ set but it sounds more like a concert. I can handle my music in real time, changing grooves, sounds, melodies… and whatever to make each show different. I usually like to play new demos and test them on a show. Then on the next show those demos can turn into a full track and it will be different. That’s why there is something new and special for each show, something unique.

You have said that playing live is something you a very passionate about. Do you find it difficult to capture the energy of your live performances when producing for CD?

When I produce music I always imagine being on a stage, performing in front of my crowd and trying to feel the same emotions of a live show and then I put them into my music. It’s not that difficult because it’s something that really comes from inside of me, but it takes time.

Over the past few years your talent has seen you land spots at some of Europe’s biggest festivals including Love Parade Berlin, WMC Miami, Street Parade Zurich, Mayday, Gatecrasher, Nature One and Creamfields. If you could chose just one music festival to play at annually which would it be and why?

No doubt, I would choose Love Parade…. but in Berlin. That was my first gig outside Italy and it was very impressive to me. I have a special feeling for that festival and that city as well, it’s like the first love…. Can’t forget it.

You’re coming to Australia shortly for the Stereosonic festival, what do you remember from your previous visits to Australia?

I’ve always had great shows and a great time there, but last time I went to Australia for NYE I had a very bad experience…. I’ve got my skin completely burned from the sun the first day I came over there! You know, coming from the cold European winter with my white skin….believe me, that was terrible.

Are there any Australian producers or DJ’s you are a fan of?

I know there are some very good DJs and producers but I’m not really a fan of a specific one.

Where is your biggest fan base, is it Italy or one of the trance countries like the Netherlands or Germany?

To be honest I don’t know. I mean, I always find a very great crowd in each country, there isn’t a specific place.

Are you still based in Italy or has your career forced you to move abroad?

I’m still living in Italy and still in the same town where I was born. I have my studio and office next to home and I can handle everything via internet. Also this is the perfect relaxing place where I need to stay when I come back from a tour.

What do you listen to when relaxing at home or having dinner with friends? What other music styles other than trance do you like?

I like every kind of music, I’m a big fan of U2 for example or Massive Attack, but I also like some Italian rock bands…

You have collaborated with some of the world’s finest producers, including Paul van Dyk of course. What is he like to work with?

It was definitely my biggest and most important collaboration ever and it was the goal which I always wanted to achieve. Even if it’s never easy to put different ideas and different point of views into a single track, we found a good way to blend our ideas together and it was very nice. I feel really proud and very lucky for the chance I had to collaborate with him.

Are there any other artists you would like to work with in the future?

I’m always looking for new collaborations but I have no one special in mind for the next future. What I can tell you is that I’m making a new track with John O’Callaghan at the moment, so lets keep an eye on this.

Finally, tell us a little about what we can expect from your live performances later this month.

New productions, new remixes, new demos and some samples from my upcoming album!

Giuseppe Ottaviani touches down in Australia this weekend for the Stereosonic festival. For all the latest on the tour head to the inthemix festival page, with news updates, interviews, DJ mixes, videos and heaps more!

Sat Nov 22 – Stereosonic, Brisbane

Fri Nov 28 – Sublime & Stereosonic pres. Satellite v3.0, Sydney – w/ Paul van Dyk

Sat Nov 29 – Stereosonic, Melbourne

Sun Nov 30 – Stereosonic, Perth