Inside The Track w/ Mihalis Safras

If you think of Greece, currently you might perhaps think of sunny islands, funny people and Ouzo all over the place. Besides all those things the Greek Isles have a great electronic scene and Mihalis Safras is definitely one of its most important representatives. Hailed as both the Material head honcho and producer, Mihalis’ high caliber, elongated, aching yet versatile and percussive Tech House tracks have made their way onto some of the most respected labels in the scene.

We caught up with Material main man Mihalis to chat about his latest ‘Barrage EP’ and get a more in-depth look at the production side of it. We go ‘Inside The Track’ with Mihalis.

1) Congratulations on your new ‘Barrage EP’ on Knee Deep In Sound. How is it being received in your sets and how are other DJs responding to the release?

The reaction so far is great! Hot Since 82 tested it throughout the summer and the reactions were just awesome! Plus Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli have been hammering in their sets! But to be honest, what I care most about is if the track works for my sets and they work well!

2) Tell us more about main track ‘Barrage’. What was the main focus behind it and how do you approach making a new record?

Simple. I aimed for a nasty tech-house groover that at the same time could work as either a DJ tool just as well as peak-time track (because of the catchy break).

3) Production wise, what is it about the track that you feel makes it work?

For the ‘Barrage’ track specifically, I think it is definitely the chopped vox sample that is continuously looping! At least that’s what catches my ear and gives it its groove! It’s a simple, age old recipe to just edit a vocal and loop it… but it works every time for me!

4) Name one production technique that characterizes your sound?

I would say ‘too many high hats’ haha. I just love high frequencies and sometimes I over-do it. In my head, it gives a brighter result than that ‘dubby’ feeling so I usually use 2-3 hi-hats on same track. An 808 and 909 hat together for example, at the same time!

5) What is the one plug-in and piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again (Bukem styled)… I love the Rocket from Stillwell and the Massive from Native Instruments, I use them in literally all my tracks!

And in terms of hardware, it’s got to be the Bass Station2! Gotta love it!

6) What’s your best studio tip for making records?

The best tip for me is to wake up very early and head straight to the studio or your home studio. The earliest part of the day gives me the bests beats! :)

7) Lastly, is there any overall advice for the up-and-coming DJs/producers trying to make it in today’s fast paced game?

Not sure what to say… just love what you do and work really hard for it!
I read somewhere that the real winner is the one that never gives up, not the one who wins all games… so there you have it!

Mihalis Safras artist/label pages and releases on Traxsource.

Mihalis Safras