Coming from Athens, Greece is a new pen pal and one stupendous DJ and producer known as DSF. DSF has been immersed in electronic since 1998, when he felt a connection with house music and the rave scene in Greece. In 2007 he put out his first release, and has since become well known in the deep and melodic house spheres. He’s become a regular contributor to Shanti Moscow Radio, a leading label in this arena, and in addition boasts a rare accomplishments of having all of his tracks successfully signed onto various labels.
Letting us in during an exclusive interview he tells us his story of coming up the ranks, insight on his latest EP, future aspirations, experience in the Greek rave scene, where to find beautiful underground music and more. Through this fruitful interview, enjoy getting to know the new All Day I Dream talent while listening to his latest EP, Mystika, and more of his classy discography.
Mystika is a lush offering, opening with a wistful vocal title track that Lee has been rinsing frequently in his sets. High energy and sweeping orchestral accents are prominent in the EP’s middles tracks “One With The Music” and “Ammoudia,” while “Kyklades” infuses a touch of opera into the mix.
Listen to DSF’s EP Mystika via ADID:
Lets start with the basics, whats your name?
My name is Ioannis.
Can you give us a little insight on producing your Mystika EP for ADID? What equipment are you using? How are you developing your tracks? What emotions do you intend for your music to emit?
My main purpose when creating music is to deliver my emotions through my music to the people. If my track makes me move then I think people will also do that. If it makes me feeling good, people will also feel good. Basically, I’m a part of those people. I have the same needs when I’m in the dancefloor.
I worked MYSTIKA with this way of thinking. The process of developing my tracks has a lot of stages. Some easy stages, some not so pleasant. The easy part for me is the main idea. The basic line, the mood and the feeling. Normally this is the hardest thing for a producer but for me it’s not.
Then starts the progression of the track. The buildup. Construction of the timeline. That doesn’t take me a lot of time as well. Then the problems start. Overall decisions about the track, finalizing and mixing it. Here I spend all of my energy. It’s a very crucial stage for me. It’s the last part of the process. I must be 100% sure that I really like the track before I export it.
The equipment I use is basic. An iMac with Ableton Push 2 and a good pair of speakers (KRK S4V6). I have also calibrated my place with Studio Reference 4 (important tool for me). I have a few plug ins in my DAW like Spectrasonics, Arturia and Air Music and I’m trying not to use so much the sample libraries. I prefer to make melodies from scratch.
All your work has reputable backing, we are wondering what is your secret in creating a track that will get signed? How have your developed relationships with label heads, especially with ADID?
Do you know that MYSTIKA is a Greek word and it means SECRETS? Well, I don’t have any secret to share. Maybe I can share advices that worked for me. One good advice is not to hurry to finish a track. Give it time. Export it at any stage of process and listen to it at a later time out of the studio. Then come back with fresh ears.
Also, a good advice is to listen to the tracks that you love. Get inspired. Get ideas and put them on your tracks with your own way. I also listen to a lot of music.
Finally, if you are stuck with a track and you can’t finish it, leave it or change it. Leave it for a few days, maybe weeks. Change it. I’m not talking just for an element or instrument. Make a big change. Change the melodies, change the whole beat, change the bassline. You might get surprised from the results.
About my relationship with ADID it all began when I met Dmitry (Izhevski). It was the period that I was producing break, like a freak. I started sending him some of my new tracks. He really supported them and I’m grateful about that. Then Dmitry sent some of my tunes to Lee Burridge whom he also started supporting them. After months, I realized that many of my unrealised music was playing at every ADID party. Around a year later I received an email by Lee Burridge to my inbox with the good news.
Since Mystika, DSF put together a spot on mix for the ADID Podcast and released another single titled, ‘The Dream’ which combines Martin Luther King Jr’s voice with deep house, making for the perfect All Day I Dream theme song. Also, you will find his elegant work with Shanti Moscow Radio below.
How did you initially get involved with the electronic music scene? How has the scene changed since then?
I’m 42 years old. Electronic music was and it is the major genre for me. So, I didn’t jump to it. It came naturally. I was always looking for good electronic parties, for good music, a good vinyl etc. I believe back in the days things were pure. No socials, no mp3s, no cds.
Now it’s different. I don’t want to shout out what period I prefer but I can express what I feel at the moment.
Nowadays, I feel something reminds me of the old good days. When we were attending a party for the party and not for the dj only. For the concept of the party and for the music of the party. To hear new tracks that we had to wait for months till the moment they were released. And that feeling came back to me again when I attended an ADID party for the very first time. It was last summer (2018) in Mykonos, Greece. I was there with a friend who didn’t know a lot of about ADID. But today he remembers a great party full of colours, flowers, beautiful music and happy faces. He doesn’t remember Lee, Lost Desert or YokoO but the name of the party who was called ALL DAY I DREAM and is now very familiar to him. THAT’S PURE!!!
This year (2019) I was again on ADID party in Mykonos. But now as part of it. I warmed up and delivered to Lee a smiley dancing crowd. Like a dream, right?
Where and when was your very first set? How did that go? Since then, how have your grown into the producer you are today?
I guess we talk about the first paid gig. I think in 2004 in a new club in Athens but I don’t remember the name. I was very happy when they invited me because finally I would play as real DJ. I took my two record boxes (with vinyls – not rekordbox lol) and with full of confidence I made one of my best sets ever. The party was absolutely successful. At the end, all people started screaming: One more last track.
I make music for more than 22 years. In the beginning, it wasn’t so easy. It was a self-taught procedure without any help. It took me years to have my first release. So, the production level raised very slow.
Now I think I’m in a good level but I’m always looking for improving myself musically and technically.
What is one item on your bucket list?
To travel. I have spent countless hours/days/weeks/months/years in studios and I feel that I’ve missed the world outside. Right now, the only thing that travels around the world is my music. I hope to have the opportunity to travel with my music as well.
Any final words of wisdom or announcements for our following?
One of my upcoming EPs will be released around November by the sister label of ADID, the TRYBESof. I love this label too. I like the deeper side of it. I had a talk with Lee Burridge for TRYBESof and I can say there are a lot of plans about the label. I suggest you to keep your eyes on it.
Listen to Roy Rosenfeld’s ‘The Biggest Heart’ via TRYBESof:
What a treat to hear from an amazing soul from Greece. Let’s get his name out there more and start the DSF chant in hopes to summon him Stateside and around the world to share his music.