Sens Unik

One of the first Swiss rap acts to experience mainstream success, Sens Unik are a trailblazing Swiss French group that peaked in popularity during the early to mid-'90s. Founded in 1987 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the group is comprised of rapper Carlos (born Carlos Leal), singer Déborah (born Sophie Guérin), drummer Bio (born Laurent Biollay), and producer Just One. Former members include Rade, Osez, and Dynamike. In association with Maniak Records, Sens Unik made their commercial recording debut with the maxi-single Nouvelle Politique (1991), followed shortly thereafter by Le Vième Sens (1991), a nine-track EP that was among the first Swiss rap releases to find a mass audience. After moving to Unik Records, Sens Unik made their full-length album debut with Les Portes du Temps (1992), which includes the debut appearance of Déborah, then known as Sista D, and collaborations with popular French rap acts Alliance Ethnik and IAM. The album spawned the singles "A Gauche à Droite," "Hijo de Latino," and "Rira Bien Qui Rira le Dernier." Marking the group's mainstream breakthrough, Les Portes du Temps reached number 12 on the Swiss albums chart after its re-release in 1993. Released in France and Germany as well as Switzerland, the follow-up album Chromatic (1994) was an even greater commercial success, reaching the Top Five and spawning the Top 40 hit single "Laisse Toi Aller." Third album Tribulations (1996) was nearly as successful, reaching the Top Ten and spawning the single "Paquito." The greatest-hits album Panorama 1991-1997 (1997) came next, along with the new single "Original," a collaboration with German rappers Die Fantastischen Vier. Subsequent albums Pole Position (1998), Abracadabra (2001), and Mea Culpa (2004) found Sens Unik losing popularity as they experimented with different styles. The Generations (2010) compilation was released in commemoration of the group's 20th anniversary. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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