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Kick Game: Provocative Sneaker Pimps

With the sneaker-collecting hustle running rampant–spanning everyone from junior high kids to corporate execs–we got to thinking about the people behind the shoes themselves. So we hollered at Undftd's James Bond and HUF's Keith Hufnagel, who own the stores that stoke the fire for hard-to-get kicks. We phoned JB of JB Classics–on a break from designing displays for the next Sneaker Pimps show–to ask him about running an independent sneaker company. Read more » 

Ghislain Poirier In The Studio

The second half of 2005 brought a hat trick of major accomplishments for Montreal-based MC-turned-producer Ghislain Poirier. He started his "irregular monthly" at Montreal's Zoobizarre, kicking it off in July with French hip-hop stars TTC. The night now draws over 250 people to hear guests including Shadetek and Ottawa's Disorganized crew. He hooked up with England's MC-of-the-moment Lady Sovereign, opening for her on her North American tour and remixing her track "Fiddle With the Volume," which has been tearing up dancefloors across the continent. Read more » 

Amina: Whisper To A Scream

Amina has already discretely seduced their way into hearts and record collections via collaborations with Efterklang and The Album Leaf, and, most famously, as the string section for Sigur Rós. Read more » 

Jammer: Jammed Frequencies

A menacing string B-line kicks in as a budget camera shot pans around a shabby street in London's East End. Viewers prepare themselves for the kind of gritty, voyeuristic journey around a UK hood that is synonymous with grime and then... blam! A 5' 6" dreadlocked super hero–resplendent in a purple, black, and green homemade one-piece, facemask and cape–ricochets into the shot, Karate Kid-style.

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Oliver Wang: Crate Digging

San Francisco writer/DJ Oliver Wang has always had his taste-making hands in every pot on the stove–from contributing to NPR and Vibe to maintaining blogs for MSN, Napster, and his own critically vaunted Soul Sides audioblog–so it was only a matter of time before he got into the compilation-curating game. Wang culled down a list of 50 dust-covered soul gems to arrive at the 14 beautiful slabs on his first compilation, Soul Sides Volume One. Here he tells XLR8R about some of the jams that made the cut--and one that got away.

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