When young German producer, Peter Bonaventura aka Oovation, enters the studio, he wears many hats. From on-the-spot music creation to meticulous sound engineering. It seems that everything he touches turns to analogue gold. Oovation’s productions come straight from his vivid and vibrant mind which seems to have the blueprint already instinctively mapped out. To meet him, you would be surprised that such dark, intense, intricately crafted melodies would come from such a quiet person but as the saying goes, “Still waters run deep”.
Using his expertise in live mixing and analogue manipulation, Oovation’s productions are reliably exceptional, gaining recognition from big labels and artists alike. There’s nothing quite like the sound of pure music being produced live and Oovation won’t let the sunrise without having the perfect take recorded to express his deep sonic vision, in the most prolific and improvisational way.
His name is rapidly being associated with quality and fresh polyphony. To catch a live performance from Oovation is a remarkable treat. When he is in the zone, his transition from the studio to the stage is seamless, bringing the dance floor alive as enthusiastically as the tracks he produces.
A true artist in all senses, Oovation is out to change the aural soundscape of electronic music today. His enchantment with true pure analogue sounds met with real-time delivery and fine attention to detail in the end product makes Oovation a rare find and one to keep an eye on.
Check out his interview below.
Connect with Oovation on Soundcloud | Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Beatport
Hello Peter, how are you doing these days?
I’m fine! Thank you for the interview invitation.
Where are you currently residing?
I grew up in France but moved to Germany later. Today I live in Saarbrücken, a small city on the west side of Germany.
What do you like the most about living in Saarbrücken? What’s hot and what’s not.
I really feel at home here. It is a lively and organic city that is not too oversized or crowded. We have a decent subculture with clubs and bars making the city really attractive for young people. It’s a nice place all around.
Describe yourself as an artist in three words.
I would say dark, moody and individual.
How would you describe your sound and style?
Captivating, dark, atmospheric and evolving.
For anyone who hasn’t heard your music or checked out your videos before, do you recommend a starting point?
I’ve been in the music industry as a producer for almost a decade, so there is a quite big back catalogue to listen to. I have my roots in the French melodic techno scene, a style that was quite popular in my beginnings. One of my most popular tracks back then was my track “Laura” which got a stunning remix by Teho.
Since then the global music scene evolved, and I evolved with it. As ‘modern’ melodic Techno went popular I got asked by Morttagua if I want to release it on his newly created label Timeless Moment. I released a collaboration track on the label called “The End” together with singer/songwriter Etyen. It got remixed by Morttagua himself and Flow & Zeo which was a great success at that time. It’s in all versions still one of my favourite pieces of music I wrote.
Your latest LP “Perception” is out via JOOF Recordings. A staggering 12 tracks. Tell us something about the world you created here. What kind of journey are we hopping on here?
I see each track as an individual journey or scene into a wider musical context. I tend to describe this context as my own musical identity. In fact, the tracks are full of my own memories, beliefs and perceptions.
The tracks are full of my own memories, beliefs and perceptions.
Due to the way I write songs, I realized that my tracks are the result of my own experiences and the way I perceive the world. I want to give the listener a feeling of how I perceive my environment and how the environment is reacting to me.
Actually, the whole writing process is something intriguingly personal for me. To really dig into the concept of the “Perception” album I recommend listening to the mixed version which transports you into this parallel universe and connects the different feelings, emotions and places.
I think the album has a really special and unique sound. Mostly because I’m avoiding a thinking process that centres around styles and genres, rather I think about feelings and emotions I want to evoke.
When you’re working on a project like “Perception”, what’s your starting point? How do you break it down and how do you like to generate your ideas?
I used to work for a renowned sample pack company. At this time I learned to generate ideas in a fast way. Actually, the idea of rapidly sketching ideas helps me a lot. It avoids me fixing my attention on useless details in the starting phase. In fact, at the beginning of the writing process, it’s important not to get lost in subtleties.
I imagine my musical space as a sketchbook which I try to draw musical ideas into. From those sketches, only a few ideas remain good enough to become a full track. As soon as the first rough design reaches a first quality level, the details can be worked out. In the first place, it is about finding a strong lead theme that guides the track. This theme can be anything, a sound, a chord progression, a groove or a certain ambience. It needs to be captivating enough to keep the listener attracted till the end. A big part of my producing process is also sound design, as I love creating sounds from scratch with my outboard gear.
You have to build a connection between your studio and yourself in order to get this deep focus which can lead you into a “flow state”. Once you enter this momentum of fluidity in thinking and acting you really start transcribing and connecting your imagination to the machines. That’s where in my opinion good and authentic music is born.
And when it comes to your field, producing, are there any particular ideas or pioneers that you go back to frequently or who really influence your thinking about the work you do?
That’s a point. I’m a producer from day one and I feel super comfortable in the studio. Most electronic music producers had a deejay career before their producer career. This wasn’t the case for me.
I don’t try thinking in categories or certain deejays/producers. I rather enjoy listening to artist podcasts and I am discovering new unique approaches in this way. In fact, I enjoy how some acts are creating their own vibe and keep their own sound on a high and constant level.
For me, it is important to write music that is not only designed for a club environment but rather can be listened to by people at home, in the car or while going to work. I think the success of a producer can’t be only measured in the count of deejay plays. A good example here is Worakls. He is making absolutely magical and successful music, which works great as a stand-alone musical universe and it’s club-friendly at the same time, but it isn’t played out a lot by deejays.
This means true artist music goes beyond that and catches listeners on a wider range than only the club scene. I think some deejays and producers forgot that music isn’t only for clubs, so I’m really happy if people discover my music outside of this context.
If you want me to point out certain names, I would say two big discoveries were definitely Jerome Isma-Ae and also the guys from Fuenka.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other producers through, for example, file sharing, jamming, just talking about ideas or validating sounds?
Well, it depends on the collaboration form. For example, Amber Long and I have a quite deep understanding of the other’s working strategy, as we made so many projects together. We have found a quite effective working strategy. I know exactly the chords, the mood and the ambience I need to craft that it fits with Amber’s style. I already have the blueprint of her voice in my head while composing. This sort of pre-thinking and planning makes it easier for her to find herself in the song.
The digital world opens endless possibilities. It is really fascinating how easy it has become to connect with new passionate humans, who share the same dedication to music. It enables you to widen your horizon, by giving you the opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded producers/singers/deejays. I really love this aspect of globalization within modern electronic dance music.
What do you say to aspiring creators out there trying to find their voice and identity as artists?
Don’t be afraid of sounding different. Look at the big guys Stephan Bodzin, Innellea etc. They all became famous because of their signature sound. Imagine one of those guys copying each other, it would be hilarious.
Writing music is about showing the world who you really are and the truth is that authentic music reveals every facet of your personality.
That’s the problem with sample packs and presets, you can make good tracks out of them and probably even make a Beatport top 10 out of it. But it will not make an artist out of you and it will not last for a long term success. Writing music is about showing the world who you really are and the truth is that authentic music reveals every facet of your personality. So be yourself, people will trace that.
What is something you wish you knew earlier in your career that would help an up and coming artist?
I have two points here. The first one is, that while starting producing electronic music, you quickly start to fall into the trap of thinking tracks are getting better with more complexity. This can be really false (except for Max Cooper probably). A simple but nicely worked out idea is often more effective than a discontinued track with too many sounds and effects. So don’t distract the listener’s attention with too many things. Spend time working on the sounds themselves rather than adding new ones. Make the idea, vibe or theme clear and comprehensive so that the listener directly gets your intention.
You have to accept that you will not be able to satisfy everyone’s taste.
And my second piece of advice is, that you have to accept that you will not be able to satisfy everyone’s taste. Some people will love your music, others will hate it. You have to deal with it. Listen to the ones who are connected with your music and let them guide you to the right spots and opportunities.