Three cities define Astyplaz’s musical journey thus far. Astyplaz is a neologism. It is composed of the word “asty” which in Ancient Greek means city and the French word “plage” meaning beach. With this neologism, a poetical metaphor of beach culture to the city is achieved (city beach). Astyplaz is an Athens based 4 piece electronica/ synth pop outfit. Astyplaz is formed of Dioni (whose remarkable voice is heard in English, French and Greek), P. Dreamweaver, Stathis and George.
The Artracks studio in Athens is the meeting point of the varying inspirations of the members of the group and simultaneously the place of the final shaping of the group’s musical identity. Sydney is the birthplace of Dioni (the singer and lyricist) and where she acquired her musical and theatrical education. In Montreal L Music discovers Astyplaz and takes them under its wing to take them on an international journey.
In the summer of 2004 Astyplaz debut album Name your Slippers was released in Greece and Cyprus (Plus Rec / Universal Music). The Album title was inspired by surrealist author G.C. Lichtenberg (1742 – 1799).
To this day Astyplaz have contributed tracks to many compilation albums in their native Greece such as:
Inoteka Club Traxx V.I.O (Capp Records)
The Strength of Whispers (Universal Music)
Greek Electro 01 (Universal Music)
Eclectic Dance Vol 1 (Plus Rec/Universal Music)
Greek Electro 02 (Universal Music)
At the end of 2004 Rock n’ Roll Magazine names Astyplaz’s album Name your Slippers as one of the top 6 albums of 2004.
Also ‘Lifting Shadows from the Sand’ was selected to be included on the CD of music magazine Rock n’ Roll. This song skyrocketed to the top of many radio stations’ charts with the Number 1 spot being maintained for many weeks on Z95.7 and Radio 1 88FM.
Following the debut album release, a series of live concerts ensued playing alongside names such as Faithless (to a 5,000 strong crowd), Chemical Brothers, Soft Cell, Daf, Covenant, Haujobb, Melotron and Sigmatropic. Astyplaz also performed as headline act in concerts throughout Athens and in other cities of Greece such as Patra and Thessaloniki.
Around the same time various artists remixed different tracks of Astyplaz. Dimitris Papaspyropoulos, a famous Athenian Producer and Radio DJ, remixes ‘Spreading Life’ (An optimistic celebration of life and nature). The German based bands Haujobb remix ‘Toybox’ and Endraum remixed ‘Prey’, and the Italian based band Frozen Autumn remix the hitherto unreleased `Orpheus and Eurydice` .
With the commencement of 2005 Astyplaz continue their live appearances throughout Greece including outdoor appearances as part of the International day of Music, many interviews and preparing for their big step of spreading their wings across the Atlantic with the upcoming release of their debut album in Canada by L Music.
This release was enriched with two new songs and two bonus tracks, the first bonus – exclusively for Canada, is a surprise cover track made famous by Depeche Mode ‘Walking in my Shoes’ and displays a more acoustic side of the band showing that Astyplaz is not only confined to the electronic genre. The second bonus track, like the above, has never been released in Greece despite its Greek lyrics as they are curious to see how a foreign audience will respond and receive this unusual synthesis of electronic music and Greek lyrics.
The second album Bi is inspired by electronic dance music as well as british indie pop, trip hop, dub and their experiences from the American tour. All these elements are well absorbed in songs like “Hey” with the astounding voice of Dioni.
Their new album hosts collaborations with Akis Boyatzis (of the well respected band Sigmatropic) in “No Sin No Shame” as well as the young girls of Carbonated Lemonade in “Time”. The last track “116.99” is remixed by Serafim Tsotsonis, a very active and prolific producer, dj and recording artist in the Greek electronic scene.
Another reason to celebrate the release of the album Bi is the inclusion of the song “Zaira” on the internationally recognized “Buddha Bar XI” compilation.
The Astyplaz sound has references that include a wide range of artists like Swing Out Sister as well as Orb, Cocteau Twins, Oasis and Gladys Knight. The sources of their aesthetics cannot be categorized specifically under any tag.
In November of 2006, they were the first English-spoken Greek artists to tour New York, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Chicago and of course Montreal. In May 2009 they returned once again to their label`s native Montreal and were included in the international lineup of “Festival Kinetik“. They also appeared in Quebec City for a surprise unplugged set during a live radio interview and a one show only performance for the opening of a new club.
Throughout 2010 they continue their live performances, touring all over Greece.