OCEE: Incoming Waves
With understated panache, OCEE steps in as the third part of Flexout’s ‘Waves’ series, alongside Monty and Sinic thus far. He’s from Israel, a growing hotbed of inspired artists – check Hostage for example – and the music is suitably captivating, fresh and totally unpredictable, now encapsulated in the De’tails ep.
OCEE how are you! I love this ep! I really like Jerusalem and TA too, and know the Hamazkeka venue. So tell us about the scene there for beats?
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are THE best cities in the Middle East! Hamazkeka is a hip venue, although I haven’t been there much. In general, Israel is a force in electronic music from Psytrance and House to Experimental and Future Beats. That said, Metal is also quite strong here as well.
Looking at the larger picture of the EDM scene, it is fair to say that I’m an odd bird in, my day job as a composer/producer for film and media detaches me from being part of any specific EDM scene. Although, my neighbours upstairs would beg to differ after suffering all the bass frequencies while working on the EP.
So many spots to play, so many sounds, what sort of vibe catches the crowd?
You’re absolutely on point. Israel has a plethora of amazing locations and venues, from rave parties and festivals all over the country to high-end clubs in Tel-Aviv.
From an EDM perspective, the most predominant vibe coming in and out of Israel is Psytrance or Progressive Trance. We really have exceptional artists here which dominate the crowd like a conductor conducts an orchestra. You might know some of these names as they reached critical acclaim, such as Infected Mushroom, Skazi, Coming Soon!!!, Upgrade and many more.
When do you produce? I get this image of you really lost in the music doing this, it’s so absorbing and a lot of fun, so it must be fun to work with?
I have a pretty steady routine everyday, I study Jewish philosophy in the mornings to fill up the mind and soul. Next, I move on to more traditional/classical music studies of piano and music theory. After lunch time, I’m getting in my studio until midnight, and the type of work I’m doing is depending on the client or project I’m involved with.
When it comes to writing music purely for myself to be able to express it freely without any form or specs, I go back to my musical roots, which is EDM.
About two years ago when I started listening to Future Bass it really resonated with me. As a producer this style really give you freedom, that freedom you’re talking about, the kind you’re able to absorb yourself in and just have fun with it. I’m a big fan of using organic sounds and blending them with electronic mechanical elements. For example, some of the beats in the EP are made with unconventional Foley sounds like glass shattering and alike.
Take us into ‘Ruin’, here, how did the tune come about? Who is Good Behaviour, with whom you worked?
Let me back track for a sec and tell you a little bit about Itay Steinberg aka Good Behavior. Itay is a mega-talented composer/producer and sound engineer, he and I go way back. In the last decade or so of great friendship we’ve been constantly collaborating in a wide array of musical venues, especially music for motion picture advertising.
We’ve been very privileged that our music has been placed in some major blockbuster campaigns, such as Exodus: Gods & Kings, Hercules, Maleficent, Into the Storm, Secret in Their Eyes and more.
As for ‘Ruin’, the inspiration sparked while listening to Ivy Lab’s 20/20 album. I started experimenting with beats, when I completed the first sketch, I sent it to Itay thinking he might be interested to mix the entire tune. But, when he heard it he really liked the vibe and suggested we would re-write and re-produce the tune together.
Hence the name ‘Ruin’, we literally ruined the initial concept I started and came up with something that reflect a mixture of both of our approaches.
Take us into ‘Observation’, love this, it’s going to destroy the floor.
Thanks! I’d love to see people diggin’ it on the dance floor.
‘Observation’ is my personal favourite tune of the entire EP. It’s probably the most energetic and dance-like. It’s been really fun to get to experiment with different types of vocals and find the absolutely right one for the track.
It took me about a month to complete the track from start to finish and after gaining some skills with the couple previous tracks, I felt more confident to master and mix ‘Observation’ myself, so in a way it’s my very own baby.
What other production insights would you provide?
I’m very very fortunate that my work spans across many genres, and each musical aesthetic calls for different type of tools and approaches. With the De’tails EP, I employed many compression and EQing techniques, namely using Acustica-Audio’s plugins.
The guys from Italy who developed these plugins have a patent on a fascinating modelling technology of analogue gear, which allow you to really colour and shape the sound in the most innovative way I’ve ever came across, in a software base plugin.
A large part of my work includes a lot of listening, A LOT! For the purpose of this album I listened to Noisia Radio and Ivy Lab’s show on SoundCloud. It was through these shows how I got to learn more about the scene, genres, and amazing artist all around the globe.
Lastly when we visit you where’s some good venues to hear this kind of vibe?
First of all, you’re welcome to come to Jerusalem and visit me in my studio!
As a matter of fact, I’m not so familiar with any Future Bass scene here, if one even exist, if so I’d love to learn about it. Most of my listening and inspiration is coming from Europe, mainly from artists such as Noisia, Ivy Lab, Mo Vibez, Monty, Sinic and Alix Perez.
What random tune is in your head?
Hahah, this is so nerdy of me, but I’m studying now Scriabin’s Preludes Op. 11 – No. 12 in G# minor for piano. It exhibits interesting, lush and dark harmonies, which exudes a wonderful atmospheric, somewhat mystical world of sound.
In contrast, Ivy Lab’s Fortuna EP is on repeat in my playlist.
I’m pretty much enjoying both ends of the spectrum.
Thanks so much for the having me. I really enjoy being part of the DNBA community.