Tag: Mikro

A Beginner’s Guide To UNDO RECORDS

Undo Records is the Athens based record company founded by Nick Bitzenis and George Geranios.

Continuing the tradition of iconic labels like Factory and Mute with an attention to detail and a tasteful if occasionally eccentric design aesthetic, Undo’s physical products have captured the hearts of music fans worldwide and become highly sought after collector’s items.

Legend has it that the name Undo was actually an abbreviation of “United Donkeys” after the name “Gaga” was rejected!

The label was conceived by the pair as a better way of utilising their business interests in light of a lucrative sponsorship deal for Bitzenis’ band MIKRO that saw little return for the power pop combo after a three album tenure with Warner Music Greece.

Undo’s first release though was actually ‘E-Bay Queen’ by MARSHEAUX in 2004, featuring the catalogue number KUCD001 which reflected Undo’s then partnership with distributor Klik Records. Meanwhile, MIKRO’s fourth album ‘180°’ was the label’s second release as KUCD002.

But it was following the cult success of MARSHEAUX’s breakthrough release ‘Peek ABoo’ in 2007 that the label secured a wider distribution deal with EMI Greece. With fans such as Andy McCluskey, Tom Robinson, Stuart Maconie and Jared Leto, the Athens based synth maidens have since become Undo Records’ most acclaimed and prized asset, with MARSHEAUX’s most recent album ‘Inhale’ becoming their biggest seller to date.

A decade later and the label have nearly fifty releases to its name including some key names from classic and modern electronic music. “We make electro pop records!” Undo say, so quite why a representative from a UK music distributor approached them about licensing the BEADY EYE debut long player still remains a mystery!

So here are eighteen songs affectionately chosen for a fantasy CD compilation that represents the ethos of Undo Records. Restricted to one song per artist moniker or guest vocalist combination and arranged in catalogue number / chronological order, this is A Beginner’s Guide to Undo Records…

FOTONOVELA But Not Tonight (2005)

Greek Tribute to DMNick Bitzenis and George Geranios had initially met through the Greek DEPECHE MODE fan club Hysterika. So a DM covers album featuring the best of Greece’s independent bands was a natural artistic undertaking for the pair. MARSHEAUX contributed ‘New Life’ while MIKRO did ‘World In My Eyes’. But the highlight turned out to be from Bitzenis and Geranios themselves via their own music production platform FOTONOVELA with a lounge cover of Da Mode’s often forgotten but popular B-side ‘But Not Tonight’ featuring Bitzenis on lead vocals.

From the CD compilation ‘Around The World & Back: A Greek Tribute To Depeche Mode’ (V/A) – KUCD003


MESH Crash (2006)

MESHwecollide62005’s ‘We Collide’ was MESH’s best album to date at that point, so it was a major coup for Undo to have been able to license it for their fourth catalogue release. With ‘Crash’, MESH continued on their usual regular lyrical gists on the conflict within the human condition, providing the sort of synthesized anthems that the blues obsessed 21st Century DEPECHE MODE no longer delivered. For one of the album’s extras on the Undo variant, MARSHEAUX contributed a brilliant electro disco remix of ‘Crash’.

From the CD album ‘We Collide’ – KUCD004


NIKONN Sunday (2006)

Although a cult success in Greece via his power pop outfit MIKRO, Nick Bitzenis wanted an outlet to express some of his more soundtrack based ideas… enter NIKONN. His beautiful solo debut album ‘Poladroid’ opened with ‘Sunday’, a rich chill out tapestry in the vein of MOBY featuring expansive synths, soothing vocoder and the exquisite vocals of Maria Papadopoulou. Incidentally, ‘Poladroid’ sold out its original KUCD005 run and was reissued as an ‘SX70 Edition’ with bonus material in 2013 while NIKONN’s work has appeared on ‘CSI: Miami’ and numerous bar compilations.

From the 2CD album ‘Poladroid – SX70 Edition’ – CDUN05


ESTE Ready For Love (2007)

Undo LM.End_1While ‘Ready For Love’ was actually a Eurodisco hit from the film ‘Deep End’ featuring the Greek actress and Playboy model Maria Korinthiou on lead vocals, the song appeared on a CD compiled by Undo Records that was given away free with domestic music magazine ‘Pop+Rock’ in Spring 2007. Breathy and highly alluring, the mysterious connection that enabled ‘Ready For Love’ to be included was that ESTE turned out to be Bitzenis and Geranios’ production wing FOTONOVELA in disguise!

From the CD compilation album ‘Undo LM.End_1’ (V/A) – MPH049


MIKRO Kalinihta (2007)

Originating from Greece’s other big city Thessaloniki, MIKRO were noted for their catchy uptempo party anthems. ‘Kalinihta’ from their fifth album ‘Restart’ perfectly captured the imminent conclusion of a rousing night out with some seductive Greek language vocals by Ria Mazini. ‘Restart’ was the first Undo release that featured a ‘CDUN-’ catalogue prefix, reflecting their new distribution deal with EMI Greece. Meanwhile, MIKRO’s next album was released by Undo in separate Greek and English CD editions as ‘Download’ and ‘Upload’ respectively in 2009.

From the CD album ‘Restart’ – CDUN07


CLIENT Zerox Machine (2008)

CLIENT Heartland undoBy 2007, CLIENT had left Mute Records and had secured a new European deal with Out Of Line for their third album ‘Heartland’. In 2008, Undo licensed the album for the Greek and Cypriot markets. ‘Zerox Machine’ was a futuristic pop cover of the cult ADAM & THE ANTS favourite that was simultaneously glamorous, cold, emotional and sexy. In a touring tie-in which also saw MARSHEAUX sign to Out Of Line for the rest of Europe while Undo developed a close friendship with lead singer Client B aka Sarah Blackwood that continues to this day.

From the CD album ‘Heartland’ – CDUN09


KID MOXIE Selector – Fotonovela remix (2009)

KKidMoxie_undoKID MOXIE is the musical project of stunning LA based actress Elena Charbila whose film career has seen her appear alongside Al Pacino and Malcolm MacDowell. Prior to her current cinematic phase on songs like ‘The Bailor’, her first album ‘Selector’ dabbled in what Charbila termed “Gutter Pop”. For the Greek physical edition of the release, FOTONOVELA took the title track and imagined ‘Are Friends Electric?’ reworked as an electro disco track for one of the bonuses while MARSHEAUX remixed ‘Medium Pleasure’.

From the CD album ‘Selector’ – CDUN11


RED BLOODED WOMEN You Made Your Bed (2009)

‘Electronically Yours’ was a compilation that gathered a number of the new synthesizer acts such as HIDDEN PLACE, TECHNOLOGIC and TIGER BABY. A trio of feisty ladies with a vibrancy in their passion for pop with an edgy synthetic sound not heard before in the world of the girl group, RED BLOODED WOMEN were like GIRLS ALOUD produced by Daniel Miller. ‘You Made Your Bed’ was a satirical look at the IKEA generation’s relationships. The electronic bassline wass octave shift heaven carried by a throbbing sequence and beat!

From the 2CD compilation album ‘Electronically Yours’ (V/A) – CDUN14


MARSHEAUX Radial Emotion (2009)

With two albums to their name, Marianthi Melitsi and Sophie Sarigiannidou delivered on their promise with their most accomplished work to date in ‘Lumineux Noir’. ‘Radial Emotion’ with its infectious chorus and vibrant syncopated beats almost stole the show on an album which also included some of MARSHEAUX’s best songs like ‘Sorrow’, ‘Breakthrough’, ‘Summer’, ‘So Far’ and ‘Exit’. The innovative packaging for ‘Lumineux Noir’ consisted of a perforated black box that needed breaking to access the CD… thus, many fans bought one to play and one to display!

From the CD album ‘Lumineux Noir’ – CDUN16


ROCKETS IN A COMA You In Me (2009)

ROCKETS IN A COMA CDROCKETS IN A COMA’s striking front woman Elektra first came to prominence as a guest vocalist on FOTONOVELA’s 2008 debut ‘Mistakes Are Good’. With her feisty vocal style coupled with musical partner Java Kid’s eclectic production style, the duo delivered a mutant strain of dominatrix electro rock disco with hints of MIKRO, THE CURE and GOLDFRAPP. This was wonderfully showcased on their first single ‘Psycholover’ and ‘You In Me’. But despite these sexily provocative overtures, Elektra has since effectively retired from music in order to raise a family.

From the CD album ‘Square Strawberries’ – CDUN17


TAREQ Mosquito (2010)

IMG_127Greco Jordanian vocalist TAREQ was a member of TECH SOIR who released their only album ‘Dark Room’ on Undo in 2007. So it was not a total surprise when his solo debut appeared on the label in mid-2010. The relaxed but pacey drum ‘n’ pop of ‘Mosquito’ was enhanced by a charming vocal croon that was not that different from INXS’ Michael Hutchence. Indeed, the parent album ‘Cocoon’ featured a cover of ‘Need You Tonight’ to further substantiate the link. TAREQ’s second album on Undo entitled ‘Fish’ came out in 2013.

From the CD album ‘Cocoon’ – CDUN24


OMD Green (2010)

‘Green’ was a demo from the solo phase of OMD that Andy McCluskey wrote with Stuart Kershaw and sounded like a ploddy rock ballad. Taking ‘Almost’ as a reference point with its white noise-like cymbal, Paul Humphreys reworked the track with a classic but contemporary electronic feel that became one of the highlights of ‘History Of Modern’. For its Greek release, Undo put the standard album into a lavish box with a bonus remix EP and ribboned it with a unique OMD wax seal.

From the 2CD+DVD boxset ‘History Of Modern’ – CDUN25


ROLLA SCAPE featuring MARSHEAUX Heaven Is Real (2011)

Rolla_Scape_st__CoverMARSHEAUX found themselves in funky disco mode on this guest appearance with ROLLA SCAPE, a pseudonym of K.BHTA, an Athens based Australian electronic musician. While the wispy vocal tones of Marianthi Melitsi are unmistakeable, the repetitive and sparse dance flavour of ‘Heaven Is Real’ augmented by rhythm guitar is quite unlike anything else in the MARSHEAUX catalogue and an enjoyable diversion away from their more obvious synthpop sound.

From the CD album ‘Rolla Scape’ CDUN28


MIRRORS Somewhere Strange (2011)

A unity of art and technology, MIRRORS were the perfectly modern take on the Synth Britannia era. The outstanding ‘Somewhere Strange’ was possibly the most euphoric and roaring train ride since NEW ORDER’s ‘Temptation’ with a hypnotic assault of propulsive blips and cacophonies of percussive noise. Undo’s special 2CD release of ‘Lights & Offerings’ chronicled the album and the brilliant B-sides. The Undo arrangement led to singer James New contributing the brilliant ‘Our Sorrow’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ on FOTONOVELA’s ‘A Ton Of Love’ in 2013.

From the 2CD album ‘Lights & Offerings’ – CDUN31


LIEBE Flamingo Nights (2012)

With the spectre of Moroder and the slight, unorthodox vocal vibe of PULP’s Jarvis Cocker looming, the Thessaloniki based electro duo LIEBE borrowed an Italo style reminiscent of PET SHOP BOYS but added an extra sense of tongue-in-cheek. Also fusing elements of THE HUMAN LEAGUE to their highly immediate sparkling disco sound, the first single from the ‘Somewhere In Time’ album, ‘Strangers’ was a radio success in their home country while ‘Flamingo Nights’ took their uplifting retro euphoria even further.

From the CD album ‘Somewhere In Time’ – CDUN34


VIENNA Rendez-Vous Sur La Mer Noire (2013)

VIENNA were a cult French synth act who were led by Odile Arias, best known for being Martin Gore’s girlfriend at the time when the iconic DEPECHE MODE ‘101’ documentary was filmed. Lively and sublime with an almost Middle eastern derived melody, ‘Rendez-Vous Sur La Mer Noire’ was originally released in 1984 as the B-side to their debut single ‘Say You Love Me (Tu As Juré)’. VIENNA captured a promising Gallic electro sound that never got fully realised back in the day. But in Undo’s first retrospective product, they were rescued from obscurity in this lavish boxset.

From the 4CD boxset ‘History 1984-1991’ – BXCDUN39



The concept of FOTONOVELA’s sophomore offering ‘A Ton of Love’ was to produce a supreme electronic record featuring vocalists from all stages of classic synthpop as a homage to the genre. Andy McCluskey was the first to come on board but the resultant song ‘Helen Of Troy’ turned out so well that it ended up on OMD’s ‘English Electric’! Undeterred, the duo recruited MARSHEAUX, KID MOXIE, MIRRORS and Sarah Blackwood who took FOTONOVELA onto a cloudier but enjoyable hitchhike through the North West of England with her feisty contribution to ‘Justice’.

From the CD album ‘A Ton Of Love’ – CDUN46


SAD DISCO Beat (2014)

Sad_Disco_Lp_Cover“If Dimitris Biniaris and Theod Kopoul hadn’t formed SAD DISCO, they would probably hate each other” said their enlightening press release. Creative tension can be a positive thing in music, so with interests as disparate as heavy metal, post-punk and err… sad disco, the duo set about making music that was like “the sound echoing in your head while you are walking away from a club”. With hints of THE PRESETS and CUT / COPY, the grooving disco lento on ‘Beat’ provides an appropriate backing for the introvert melancholy of Binaris’ high register vocals.

From the vinyl LP ‘Sad Disco’ – LPUN47


undo-logoFor further information on Undo Records and their online shop, please visit www.undorecords.com




Text by Chi Ming Lai
8th September 2014

A Beginner’s Guide To The MARSHEAUX Remixes

In these days of modern remixing, recordings are often reworked to oblivion with the end result being a pointless club track that bears little relation to the original.

In these types of reinterpretations, vocal samples might occasionally appear but everything else is as good as rendered unrecognisable. One of the worst early examples of this indulgence was the Transcendental Constant Viper Mix of OMD’s ‘Stand Above Me’ by Phil Kelsey from 1993… that case was made even worse because what had actually been reworked was another track altogether, namely ‘Dream Of Me’!

Who these versions are aimed at is often a mystery although an excellent article on How The Major Labels Sold ‘Electronica’ To America sheds light on how this madness may have started. And now today with reciprocal remix arrangements being used as part of a dual marketing tool, sometimes quite incongruous pairings are procured with the final outcome getting a mixed reception and often alienating both sets of fanbases.

However, some artists take a more sympathetic approach to the remix opportunity and offer beat enhancements, extra melodic parts and instrumental breakdowns to compliment a track in a far more classic tradition. Richard X, Mark Reeder, PET SHOP BOYS, THE MANHATTAN CLIQUE and FREEMASONS have proved to be fine purveyors of this more accessible song based interplay. But one duo who outstrip them all with their digi-electro style are Athens based synthgirls MARSHEAUX.

Together with their producers FOTONOVELA, Marianthi Melitsi and Sophie Sarigiannidou combine their best synthpop sensibilities with both feet on the dancefloor to deliver some of the best received pop styled remixes of the last ten years with many established artists among their portfolio. These include official commissions, such as one for Katy Perry which has since become the biggest selling single recording that MARSHEAUX have been involved in, as well as bootlegs for their own club DJ sets.

The gift Sophie and Marianthi have when remixing is they always manage to enhance a song with their stamp while retaining the core essence of the original – simple in theory but in reality, not an easy thing to do! But when MARSHEAUX had a go at remixing OMD’s comeback single ‘If You Want It’, even their dainty craft work couldn’t turn that particular donkey into a racehorse!

So with a new album from Sophie and Marianthi still a while away, here then are MARSHEAUX’s best 18 remixes to check out, in alphabetical order by artist. ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK believes this impressive collection would make a rather good compilation album. Perhaps it could be called ‘Dream Of A Disco’?

CLIENT Its Not Over (2008)

MARSHEAUX took their visual inspiration from CLIENT so when they toured Germany together in 2008, it was a most perfect pairing. On ‘It’s Not Over’, some Hellenic shine is added to CLIENT’s Cold War chic for a slice of electro perfection. Sarah Blackwood’s vocal is given space to breathe while the sharpened glitterball backing retains the fuzzy edge of the original but with some additional Eurocentric riffage.

Available on the CD EP ‘It’s Not Over’ via Out Of Line Records Germany. Listen on YouTube http://youtu.be/P1A9d6kU7JE



DAYBEHAVIOR It’’s A Game (2011)

This synth trio hail from Stockholm but with singer Paulinda’s Italian heritage, a Mediterranean flavour colours their cooler Nordic spirit. So with that in mind, come the bouncy remix of an already brilliant track, this version of ‘It’s A Game’ could easily be mistaken for one of Sophie and Marianthi’s own recordings.

Available on the download single ‘It’s A Game’ via Graplur Records Sweden


DEPECHE MODE A Pain That I’m Used To (2007)

Already a magnificent brooding epic in its original form, this mighty opener to the ‘Playing The Angel’ album boasted “pain and suffering in various tempos” was brilliantly transformed by MARSHEAUX. They adding their own sparkling top end dynamic as well as an ominous bass rumble. Although never officially released, this was voted top remix in a poll of DEPECHE MODE fans.


ELECTROBELLE Mirrorball (2008)

The original first appeared in 2008 on an EMI Greece related compilation as part of the lead up to a full single release by Undo Records. However, this did not materialise and it wasn’t until Autumn 2010 that it was issued in its own right as an independent EP. The original was good but MARSHEAUX’s remix was even better. The girls toughened ‘Mirrorball’ up to an EU friendly dancefloor splendour with additional air-synth riffage and interluding attacks that added some extra energy to proceedings.

Available on the CD EP ‘Mirrorball’ via Eden Records


MYLÈNE FARMER N’aie Plus D’amertume (2011)

Gallic songstress Mylène Farmer is her country’s equivalent of Madonna if slightly less controversial and diva-ish. Her sound does seem to benefit from disco enhancements, having already scored a No1 in her own country with the MOBY / MANHATTAN CLIQUE collaboration ‘Crier La Vie’. Almost translating as “do more bitterness”, this ballad is given a dreamy uptempo facelift by MARSHEAUX which is pop perfection.



Like a post mid-life update of 1984’s ‘Louise’ for the new millennium, Philip Oakey says ‘Sky’ is about “meeting dead girls in bars”. Suitably sombre and monotone synthpop for ‘The Vampire Diaries’ generation, ‘Sky’ is proof that Da League can still come up with great tunes. MARSHEAUX’s busy pulsing adds more fortified Italo elements without disrupting the original’s wonderful melancholy and livens the tempo.


HURTS Better Than Love (2010)

Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Adamson’s HI-NRG ditty underwent many manifestations having been originally part of their previous band DAGGERS’ live set. The fastest paced song in the HURTS catalogue, MARSHEAUX’s version hypnotised with its frenetic dancefloor friendliness and sequencing. Again retaining all the best euphoric elements of the song, this remix simply sparkles with optimism.


IN-VOX featuring ANDY BELL Will I Ever? (2004)

Ever wondered how ERASURE would have sounded doing ‘Go West’? Here it is in this highly uplifting collaboration with Greek duo IN-VOX. The original was fairly guitar driven but MARSHEAUX’s remix, which incidentally was their first, added a distinct electronic sheen to make it a pop masterpiece. Much better than the cover versions which Andy and Vince were attempting at this point.

Available on the CD single ‘Will I Ever?’ via Sony Music Greece and Columbia Records Austria.  Listen on YouTube http://youtu.be/YvkwXKlvZwk



KID MOXIE Medium Pleasure  (2009)

KID MOXIE give a cynical snarl waxing lyrical about how society accepts the culturally mundane and mediocre. With a tedious evening led by COLDPLAY, SNOW PATROL and ELBOW for Children In Need warmly received by the masses, this just rings so true. Thankfully, MARSHEAUX’s interpretation of ‘Medium Pleasure’ is anything but mundane and mediocre, with rhythmical life enhancement through exposure to cool female fronted electro guaranteed.

Available on the Greek CD edition of ‘Selector’ via Undo Records. Listen on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRRrL0pWyrk


MESH Crash (2006)

Adding some light into the dark industrialists’s repertoire, this bleepy reworking emphasises MESH’s sometimes hidden knack for rousing and catchy electronic tunes. With some of the rockier tendencies stripped away, it becomes club friendly gothic pop that retains the all the dynamic tension and synth soloing of its parent recording. It’s almost like DEPECHE MODE go disco, complete with a lift from ‘It’s No Good’!

Available on the Greek CD edition of ‘We Collide’ via Undo Records.


MIRRORS Into The Heart (2011)

Christened the ‘Greek Girls Are Not Easy’ mix, Sophie and Marianthi turned MIRRORS’ most accessible track into a sensational neo-robotic danceathon. The as-yet-unreleased extended version added even more sharp synth counterpoints to the majestic singalong with the whole package proving that classic Synth Britannia influences are nothing to be ashamed of.

Available on the Greek CD edition of ‘Lights & Offerings’ via Undo Records. Listen on YouTube https://youtu.be/77f812hkDBg


MOBY Lift Me Up (2005)

The original version was used as the theme for the UK’s Formula 1 coverage for a few years in the noughties and while it doesn’t have the instant resonance that FLEETWOOD MAC’s ‘The Chain’ has in its association with motorsport, it is certainly an energetically rousing anthem. At a less frantic pace, MARSHEAUX’s remix with its firm octave shift drive is a regular staple in their DJ sets and always well received by clubbers.


OMD She’s Leaving (2008)

Technically, this is not a remix as it started life as a cover version of the ‘Architecture And Morality’ classic. However, a new vocal by Andy McCluskey was added and this delightfully rounded with the angelic melancholy of MARSHEAUX’s own sweet timbres. Given a modern discofied softsynth facelift, this pretty duet is a fine example of how yesterday’s tomorrow can successfully meet the present and the future.

Unreleased at time of writing, listen on YouTube http://youtu.be/ly6JDo8o1I0


KATY PERRY Hot ‘N’ Cold (2009)

Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it, but behind all the shock tactics was some quality songs written by Cathy Dennis and in the case of ‘Hot ‘N’ Cold’, Swedish megapop producer Max Martin. Taking its cue from the PET SHOP BOYS remix of THE KILLERS’ ‘Read My Mind’, this superb reworking by MARSHEAUX can only be described as truly banging! When presented to Katy Perry’s management, they were none too pleased but the lady herself loved it and sanctioned its release.

Available exclusively as an iTunes download single via EMI Records Greece


SAKIS ROUVAS Shake It (2004)

MARSHEAUX went to the Eurovision Song Contest with their electro assisted radio mix of this saucy uptempo number. Sakis Rouvas, who could be considered Greece’s own Ricky Martin, came 3rd in proceedings and went to No1 in his home country. While ‘Shake It’ is not exactly a work of genius, it is good fun and did considerably better than the UK’s entry which came 16th.

Available on the CD Single ‘Shake It’ via EMI Records


SALLY SHAPIRO Jackie Jackie (2010)

SALLY SHAPIRO is the Queen of Scandinavian electropop and has won many admirers. With her wispy vocal and discotheque tendencies, she shares a musical affinity with MARSHEAUX. Interestingly though, the original of this was more of a pretty crystalline ballad. So MARSHEAUX added a 2010 percussive backbone to give it disco potential and thereby construct an uplifting anthem in time for the new decade.


TAREQ Mosquito (2011)

Greco Jordanian Tareq Souleiman was previously the lead singer of TECH SOIR and his vocal timbres make him electro’s answer to INXS’ Michael Hutchence as his cover of ‘Need You Tonight’ indeed shows. ‘Mosquito’ with its relaxed but pacey drum ‘n’ pop was the superb highlight from his first solo album ‘Cocoon’. Here though, MARSHEAUX take the pace down to a slower off-beat groove for an even greater chilled mood with Marianthi’s soft vocals, symphonic strings and KRAFTWERK’s Vako Orchestron choirs from ‘Radio-Activity’ added to the mix.


TIGER BABY Girlfriend (2006)

Dream laden electro from Copenhagen, TIGER BABY are another act who could be mistaken for MARSHEAUX with that synthpop vibe combined with sweetly gorgeous vocals from Pernille Pang. Stylistically, this has all the impressive hallmarks of the MARSHEAUX sound combined with the unmistakeable melodic sensibility that Scandinavian pop acts seem to naturally possess.

Available on the CD single ‘Girlfriend’ via Gunhero Records Denmark


With thanks to MARSHEAUX, all at Undo Records and EMI Greece

A selection of MARSHEAUX’s remixes can be heard at:



Text by Chi Ming Lai
3rd December 2011

SHH Interview

SHH are Diana Huarte and Daniel Gorostegui. Hailing originally from the party city of Buenos Aires, SHH create stylish, intelligent electronic pop that’s crammed with big tunes and rampages through everything from Italo to indie, house to punk.

They have already released two albums ‘SHH’ and ‘Gaucho Boy’ via the in Argentine indie label Oui Oui Records. With an exciting year in the offing, SHH are about to unleash their first UK product with Wonderful Night and Tiger coupled together as a lushly packaged seven inch vinyl single.

Vocalist Diana could be described as frisky blonde bombshell collision of GRACE JONES, LADY GAGA and IGGY POP. She talked to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK recently about SHH’s plans for the coming year, the fun of writing songs in two languages and her love of DEPECHE MODE.

You trained in opera but have ended up doing electronic pop ‘Buenos Aires Style’, how did this happen?

At the end of the nineties I found myself in a small discotheque in Buenos Aires. I had a project with a group of friends to promote an afternoon opera club! The place we had found was perfect so I went and spoke to the resident DJ, to see how we could get the club. That DJ was one Daniel Gorostegui.

Well, the ‘Afternoons of Opera’ never happened but Dany and I became friends, talking about music, listening to bands like PORTISHEAD, MASSIVE ATTACK and ADD N TO X who of course had Alison Goldfrapp singing on some of their records. The idea of having a band together almost appeared as a joke. But when I first wrote and sang my own songs, the sensation of that was so much better than the interpretation of opera’s arias that I simply couldn’t stop.

SHH released two albums in Argentina which were quite successful but you have ambitions in the English language electro market which could be said to include Scandinavia and Germany as well as the UK and US. What has motivated this and was it a difficult decision to make?

When we started the band, the first lyrics were in English because that was the language of the music, the good pop music we always have heard. Also, words in English are shorter and have more consonants than Spanish words, so, rhythmically, English sounded better.

I started to sing in Spanish because we had to make a song for a compilation for Sony Music and when I finished the song (about the sensations I had when my mother died), I liked it. I also found that people were better able to understand my lyrics – the same is now happening here in the UK now that I’m singing in English once again. Nowadays I can honestly say that I feel comfortable singing either in Spanish or English.

Singing for me is about the transference of feelings. So, if more people understand English than Spanish and are able to like my music (and perhaps even buy it!), well, let’s do it in English!

So will you be re-recording some of your songs in English for a ‘new’ release? How have you found translating the lyrics while still trying to maintain the emotional impact of the originals?

Definitely yes, we are recording our songs in English for that. The process of composing, or perhaps recomposing the lyrics which originally were in Spanish, well, unfortunately, it is not a translation from Spanish to English. That would be easier, perhaps!

I look for words which match the rhythm of the music more than trying to translate. I go with the words that sound the best. I try to respect the story but sometimes, when the words are changing other stories happen in my mind… it is double work but the result is better.

Even without understanding Spanish, I can tell your songs are passionate and sometimes very angry. What do you like to write about and are there any interesting stories behind some of the songs you would like to tell us about?

Sometimes, even though the phrases are different, the story is the same.

Take ‘Elena Hernandez’ – both English and Spanish songs are about the femicide in Ciudad Juarez in the north of Mexico and the indifference of their government to the questions of the families of those poor women.

‘Caceria!’ has become ‘Hunt’ in English, a lovely little serial killer song about a foreign waitress on the prowl for rich banker victims!

‘Sin Dormir’ and ‘Sleepless’ though, are different stories. The Spanish version is about a girl who takes many drugs, finds a cute boy in a discotheque and takes him to her house, only to discover that the boy just wants to talk and is completely stupid. It is also about breaking the preconception of a woman always looking for real love when sometimes they just want to have sex! The English version is completely different – another story just happened. We are recording the English song now so hopefully you’ll be able to hear the new story for yourself very soon.

With you based in London now and Dany still in Buenos Aires, how will you make the band work in a practical sense?

At the moment we are doing that with a lot of sacrifice and bad airline food. Dany has played quite a few gigs in London now and we’re currently planning some more gigs for the summer. Luckily Dany loves London, the food, the gigs, the record shops. Especially the record shops. I just came back from Buenos Aires where we were playing with SHH and recording some voices… in English.

Tell me about your likes and dislikes about living in London compared with Buenos Aires.

I’m very happy living in London and fortunately I travel to Buenos Aires for playing and visiting friends. Buenos Aires and London have lot in common, people are very friendly here. I’ve made lots of new friends since I moved here in 2008. And I can get plenty of good Argentinian wines, which I love, here too. But, the London winter and the sun setting at 4pm, it’s horrible. It’s better than summer in Buenos Aires – 35 to 40 degrees heat all the time, I can’t stand that!

You covered DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Never Let Me Down Again’. Why did you choose that particular song and what do you find so inspiring about DM? I understand they are phenomenally popular in South America?

Yes, especially in Argentina, everybody loves DM! Well, perhaps almost everybody. We wanted to make a cover of a song we really liked, and that song simply flowed. It was part of my adolescence, my first nights in clubs. We liked the result of what we did: downtempo and with an end very similar to some old drunken jazz song sung in a dive.

Have you heard the Argentinian fronted Italo-disco act HEARTBREAK? Could SHH become like a female fronted companion to them?

Dany made me listen to HEARTBREAK (he makes everyone he meets listen to loads and loads and loads of good music). I saw them live when they were the supporting LA ROUX, great live band. I’ll definitely borrow some of Sebastian Muravchix’s moves. I think we’re a little more synth-pop though.

Who are your favourite electropop acts past and present?

I like really good pure pop that’s made with synths. I’ve seen LADY GAGA, MARSHEAUX, MIKRO, LA ROUX, PET SHOP BOYS and GOLDFRAPP since I’ve been in London. Then there’s also excellent underground London bands like VILE ELECTRODES and ELECTRO FALCO. From Buenos Aires I like NATU BELLA (although she’s now based in Sweden). Now if only NEW ORDER would reform and play again…

And what are SHH’s immediate plans for the remainder of 2010?

We’re busy planning to release our first record in the UK. It will be a single, two songs in English and we are making sure that it is going to be something very special. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready – which is going to be really soon! Of course, it would be very rude to release a record and not have some gigs to celebrate.

Watch the MySpace for news about when we will be playing next! Then we have lots more songs to record, some old ones with their new English lyrics and some completely new ones. 2010 is going to be very exciting!

The ‘Wonderful Night’ b/w ‘Tiger’ seven inch vinyl single which will also include a CD single of both tracks will be available in early September 2010. Their albums ‘SHH’ and ‘Gaucho Boy’ are still available



Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
4th August 2010