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Philip Sherburne

Senior Year, 2007: Paris Is Burning

by Philip Sherburne

Senior Year, 2007: Paris Is Burning

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For the Class of 2007, there were worse ways to blow off steam after graduation than to hightail it to Paris. Sure, slumming it in the City of Light has been a cliché since at least the Lost Generation (if not, indeed, the Grand Tour), and sure, the exchange rate was extra ugly that year, shooting up to nearly $1.50 to the Euro by year's end. But not even the prospect of $20 cocktails could dampen the excitement to be found in Paris discotheques at the time.

Having conquered Coachella with their laser-powered space pyramid, Daft Punk took a victory lap with Alive 2007, one of the few concert recordings in the world of electronic dance music. Justice, still buzzing from having bested Kanye at the MTV Europe Music Awards, followed up their "We Are Your Friends" remix with the infectious manifesto "D.A.N.C.E." before knocking dancers over the head with their Marshall-powered Cross. Ed Banger was on fire, with a roster including not just Justice but also SebastiAn, Uffie and the late DJ Mehdi, who between them were mixing up house music, hip-hop and electro-pop infused with a devil-may-care attitude. With DJ mixers pushed deep into the red, Parisian dance floors were burning up.

And Ed Banger was just a part of the story. Paris' Kitsuné label roped in acts like Simian from the British indie scene, infusing the mix with a fist-pumping dose of rock. Joakim and his Tigersushi label teamed up with the U.K.'s Output Recordings and New York's DFA, setting up an international feedback loop of hipster buzz. And members of Paris' well-established house and techno scene -- including Jennifer Cardini, Ivan Smagghe and I:Cube --fashioned a moody, cosmopolitan take on underground club music that drew inspiration from Chicago and Berlin.

Travel with us as we let loose on the dance floors of Paris, circa 2007.

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