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Saian Supa Crew: Hip-Hop Royalty

The Parisian six-man Saian Supa Crew is bouncing around the stage like an amphetamine-charged boy band. As they stomp through perfectly synchronized b-boy routines–tent-sized t-shirts flapping behind them–they belt out exhilarating multi-layered flows, insane beat-boxing, carnival-jump-up-style hooks, and pitch-perfect harmonies. Despite not having a freaking clue what they’re rapping about, I’m immediately swept up in their vibe. Read more » 

Wax Tailor: Hip-Hop Nostalgia

A native son of the City of Lights, Wax Tailor (otherwise known as JC Le Saout) walks a tightrope between geographies and genres. Parisians forget he’s actually a local, while Americans consider his embrace of hip-hop’s explosive golden era anachronistic in this age of blingy, ego-driven rap. Their loss, and not just because the noir-hop soundtracker actually scored a couple songs for the forthcoming Cedric Klapisch movie, Paris, or because Wax Tailor recently manned the wheels of steel for the Cannes Film Festival. Read more » 

Geneviève Gauckler's Evolution

“I believe a character is an extension, an image of its creator,” Geneviève Gauckler writes from her studio in Paris. “There’s something magic about it. By creating a character or an atmosphere, I try to make something funny, sad, sweet–in a word, emotional–because it creates a link between you, your creation, and the viewer.”

It’s a subject Ms. Gauckler knows quite a bit about. Her iconic, simple, black characters have become her signature work, their expressionless faces telling soft-spoken stories in bold, broad strokes.

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Notes From the Paris Catacombs

One hundred feet beneath Paris lies over 300 kilometers of tunnels, secret passageways, and special rooms fashioned in the ruins of Roman-era limestone quarries. The catacombs are a burial site, illegal party spot, graffiti museum, and unusual respite from the city rolled into one, accessible only by climbing through sewage drains and down manholes. Read more » 

Nôze: Jazz-Lovin' Technoids

Nôze plays the hottest and hippest of styles: pure fun. At a performance at 2005’s Wilsonic Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia, they drank vodka straight from the bottle on stage and banged out frenetic jazz-house on keyboards, turntable, and computer while a friend went wild on the sax. With their set cranked up to full volume, they stole the show from a stack of headliners, and a week later made their international presence known at Barcelona’s Sonar Festival.

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