The Paradoxe of Paris – Meet the New School

10 Minute Read

The French capital continues to reinvent itself, shapeshifting between sounds and bringing forth a new wave of musicians.

Paris is a city with an interesting lineage, a city which has been many things to many people.

In the 90’s the ‘French Touch’ sound was the latest “trend” to take Dance music by storm, it soon evolved and lead to mainstream chart success with its roots very much in Paris. It was followed on by the rising popularity of EDM which then evolved into big room Techno, boat parties on the Seine and an overtly ‘glamorous’ clubbing scene which seemed to be as focussed on fashion and facade as it was the music.

However, in the meantime, there has remained a core crew of individuals who have always been involved in the music for the right reasons. Committed to the same DIY ethos as that of the 90’s before the fame and fortune, whilst drawing upon influences from the UK, America and beyond.


Paradoxe Club is a record label which has been pushing things forward since 2016. Run by Birol, Le Dom, Sunareht and De Grandi it has become a platform for a new school of musicians and producers to reimagine the city’s soundtrack.

Drawing upon influence from those who have come before the label has remained Bass orientated, reimagining the space between Breaks, Techno, Hyperpop and deconstructed Club Music. It’s energetic, heavy hitting and futuristic in equal measure. Paradoxe Club has become a pivotal outlet for the founders to release their own material alongside that of close friends and counterparts such as Feadz & Le Dom, Sylvere, Oklou, Lolito & Doline.

The imprint has acted as a launchpad for many. The latest of which is Sunareht who has just signed a new record to LuckyMe.

We spoke to the friends and family  who make up the Paradoxe Club crew about why Paris is very much a city living in the present.


Describe the value of having built a community of musicians and DJ’s in Paris?

SUNAREHT – “We’ve been hanging together with the Paradoxe Club guys and friends of the label since 2014-2015 and back then our scene was way smaller than it is now. We’d see each other at every event and we’d know almost everyone in the club. I feel like finding like-minded people with similar tastes helped us refine our sound and we didn’t have to move to a city like London to grow as artists.”

LE DOM – “Connecting with the guys and then creating Paradoxe Club around 2015-2016 was the start of being involved with the Paris electronic / hybrid club music scene for us. It meant not only having this new crew but also meeting both newcomers and « mentors » of the scene, for a few years. We would meet and drink free beers at Teki Latex « Overdrive Infinity » live streams that took place at Paris Dailymotion studios and go to club after. This lead to creating the label, DJing on the  same lineups, working together as I did with Sunareht on this LuckyMe EP, featuring on a track + mixing and mastering the EP. I had already mixed his first album and mixed Basile3 EP both on Paradoxe Club. So being part of this community for instance also led me to start mixing and mastering that I now do more and more, for different artists.

Most of the time it’s artists connected to the scene, that I’ve already met, DJ’d, worked or partied with. I have a collaborative project with To Van called Otto Diva, that was possible because we met through this label and community.

Directly sharing my music with label mates and DJ’s around the label also helped a lot to have concrete feedback and made me refine my sound. Especially when you hear them play it live you know you’re on to something. It’s just flowing more organically and that’s how it should be. So yeah basically meeting « creatively likeminded » people all the time lead to cool things!”

TO VAN – “I joined the team right after covid after having met Sunareht in a club and I became the label manager and worked on the 3 following releases on the label : Sunareht’s “Amorama” LP, Le Dom “Caesura” EP and De Grandi “La Teknoz” single.

Birol who co-founded the label is the label manager now. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to reconnect with music and Djing. What was great was to join a group that shared the same vibe as me, hybrid genres and not sticking to only one and having an experimental approach towards music at large.

I think Paradoxe club is one of the most trailblazing in Paris in that regard. That is what attracted me to join the team. We played at festivals such as Positive Education or at Peacock society and these moments when we do B2B2B2B2B is the best way to show how our tastes are diverse yet cohesive, amazing memories! Also being with the boys challenged me to start producing music, something I wanted for a long time and did some self releases and remixes for Infine for instance.”

Nicolas De Grandi – “We started Paradoxe Club after realising we were into the same type of music. It just came naturally. I think it helped us solidify our approach to music and to be identified and taken more seriously by foreign promoters (especially in the UK). I feel that in Paris everybody knows each other, everybody hangs out together, and there’s not a real separation between music genres that you have in other cities. When we started the label we wanted to showcase what our friends and people around us were doing, with the Boss Rush compilation, the current single series that Birol is curating, or EP’s (Basile, Sylvere, Doline…). We thought it would be a great idea to release only French producers, but looking back I think we kinda shot ourselves in the foot with that one…”

TEKI LATEX – “It’s great for older artists and DJs to be able to share knowledge and experiences with the younger generation, help them avoid some of the traps in the industry, play matchmaker between artists to enrich the scene and make it more of an ecosystem. It benefits everybody. As someone who doesn’t necessarily want kids, as far as I’m concerned the feeling of transmission one needs in life is fulfilled by mentoring a community of artists that Paradoxe Club are a part of.”

Sunareht 11 cred Marc Alexander Shelly

"I feel like finding like-minded people with similar tastes helped us refine our sound and we didn't have to move to a city like London to grow as artists." - Sunareht


The city has evolved, both in its sound and musical identity, how would you describe it in the present?

SUNAREHT – “Paris shifted from almost 100% techno to a way more diverse array of parties and party goers. There is tons of DJs playing similar music to what we’ve been championning and I don’t know half of them – it’s crazy.”

Nicolas De Grandi – “These days, like pretty much everywhere else, techno has taken over, especially fast and cheesy techno. That’s what sells tickets and megaclubs like Phantom are starting to open. However, I feel that people are much more open minded than a few years ago. I feel that in France, because we’re in between the UK and Germany, there’s a good mix between uk bass music and (proper) techno. There’s lots of labels and crews championing this sound (eg : Polaar, Nehza, Comic Sans, Bad Tips, BFDM, Temet, Bait etc…) You can definitely hear it in a lot of music from Parisian and french producers. We also support each other, I’m really happy to see my friends finally land on big record labels, Sunareht on Lucky Me or Sylvere on Monkeytown are good examples. On a final note I’d like to point out that Paris is not the center of attention in France like it used to be 10-15 years ago. There’s lots of little pockets of producers and collectives all around France, there’s some really cool stuff happening in Nantes, Lyon, Marseille etc..”

TEKI LATEX – “Around 2016 when Sound Pellegrino started to slow down, when my local streaming show Overdrive Infinity ended, and when Paradoxe Club came about, the city was going through a big conventional techno phase and I know that made it difficult for a certain weirder experimental club scene to get visibility at the time. Then at some point in the past 5 years I think there was a conjunction of artists getting a bit more confident and subtle in their music-making, and the audience getting more open to less straightforward styles of electronic music, which now makes labels like Paradoxe club a bit more easily accepted by French crowds.”



“I feel that people are much more open minded than a few years ago.” – Nicolas De Grandi


To what extent do you draw inspiration from the city and people around you?

SUNAREHT – “I’ve been trying to be conscious of Paris and France at and its musical heritage in my music for the past 7 or so years and I feel I’m growing out of that. I explored different sounds on the ‘Youth’ EP and I want to keep doing it for future releases. I might go back to a more “french” sound in the future though. As of the people around me they influenced me tons in the past with their music and with advice on my tracks especially the Paradoxe Club family.”

LE DOM – “It’s probably unconscious but definitely noticeable. I’ve been living in Paris since I was around 20, but not originally from here, I can tell I’ve felt the impact of the environment in my music. If anything, it was a positive impact. Perhaps more than the city itself, it’s the effect of going out in clubs first and then DJing that accelerates progress, as you can directly feel the impact of the music. I often go out and take mental notes when I realize something about a track being played, like ‘this track sounds great on this club system, why is that the case?’ and I try to notice what elements are used, how the production is, etc. Even without consciously thinking about it, being ‘immersed’ in sound itself is something that inspires you. And Paris, while not perfect by any means in terms of electronic/club music spaces, offers a lot of diversity with many good parties thrown by dedicated people.”

TO VAN – “More recently I’ve become inspired by the live shows I go to see across different genres – from grime to punk. As for my productions or when I’m on stage with Otto Diva it’s really about the energy and the emotions that it awakens in me. Also I love to experiment with different scenes and genres which I believe is part of Paradoxe club’s spirit.”

Nicolas De Grandi – “I get inspired by my friends, whether it’s nerding out about plugins with Le Dom or talking about music with somebody I’ve just met at Rinse. I also like to go out a lot, so that helps me stay inspired and meet new people.”

TEKI LATEX – “As a Parisian DJ I try to follow a tradition of hybridization between musical genres that comes from other Parisian DJs who inspired me, such as Feadz, Orgasmic, Tacteel, Para One and my TTC family, Jess & Crabbe, DJ Mehdi. The notion of “Electronic Hip Hop” was the foundation of our first label Institubes back in the early 2000s and even though I have since moved towards more club-friendly selections, it’s still a big part of my musical DNA.

Paris DJs have always loved mixing hip hop and techno, funk and electro, coupé décalé and gabber, it was always a thing. Our proximity to London via train has also made us aware of the legacy of UK music and their own different hybridizations, and that was a big influence later on but I think even before that, since the end of the 90s we as Parisians have always been all about mixing genres in our own unpredictable way.”

“Paris DJs have always loved mixing hip hop and techno, funk and electro, coupé décalé and gabber, it was always a thing.” – Teki Latex


Describe the role that clubs and radio play in the city?

TO VAN – “In Paris we are lucky to have Rinse France where we have our residency to express ourselves (I also have my solo show) . It is so important to have access to this platform and be able to regularly showcase our vision. For clubs it can be challenging sometimes for a collective like us financially speaking. We did some nights in small/medium venues (Le Chinois where we invited Nammy Wams from London or L’international as the whole crew). The offer is quite large in the city which is great but also challenging! I think one of our best nights was when we invited Mumdance at La Machine in 2022 and we were really happy that a big club like this one was supporting us. Lately, there is Le Point Ephémère that has bold programming with a good sound system, I got to play with the Vietnamese collective Nhac Gãy that was very meaningful as from the Vietnamese diaspora.”

Nicolas De Grandi – “There’s a few institutions in Paris, la Machine for example is a good one, they put on they’re own nights called Quartier Rouge focused around bass and techno, the line ups are always balanced between big international acts and local talents. It’s always fun because everybody from the scene comes and hangs out together. The last one was in collaboration with Positive Education Festival and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people in the backstage area. There’s two other clubs that I must mention, Le Chinois and La Station. Both have very good line ups and always take risks booking experimental acts, even though they’re pretty big rooms. It’s nice because there’s always a core group of people who are really passionate about music and who will go to every party possible. Regarding radio, I think Rinse solidified the scene when it started. I’ve met lots of friends just by hanging out at Rinse.”

TEKI LATEX – “If we look at music as an ecosystem and the city’s scene as a terrarium, clubs and radio are the fertile soil where ideas and careers can develop. That’s where djs and producers learn to confront their work to an audience, and grow.”