Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wax Tailor & the Dusty Rainbow Experience at Irving Plaza

Wax Tailor was born Jean-Christophe Le Saoût on July 19, 1975, in Eure, France. He found his calling in 1986 when he first discovered hip hop. After starting a career as a radio host in the Paris suburb of Mantes-La-Jolie, Le Saoût started the French rap band La Formule in the 1990s. He created his label Lab'Oratoire in 1998 and produced records from La Formule and collaborated with the Swedish band Looptroop. French rap gave way to other interests, and he developed projects based around instrumental or vocal productions with a cinematic influence. He began work on the Wax Tailor project in 2001 as a trip hop/hip hop producer mixing hip-hop, downtempo and trip-hop with samples extracted from movies. Wax Tailor’s fourth and most recent studio album, 2012’s Dusty Rainbow from the Dark, is a musical tale inspired by the enchanted world of children and is also an allegory on the escapist power of music.

A wave of French dance music artists is invading America. At Irving Plaza, Wax Tailor proved to be in league with compatriots Daft Punk and Phoenix in making light pop music with a danceable groove. Manning the turntables and the programming synthesizer on a raised platform center stage, Tailor featured an unusual band line-up below him that included a male rapper, a female singer, a guitarist, a cellist, a violinist/bassist, and a trumpeter and trombonist. Behind him, cinematic images played on a large screen, as each track was accompanied by its own custom video. In the audience, replanted French hipsters and American hip hoppers made a sea of heads bobbing to the rhythms created onstage. Surprisingly, although Tailor’s set was thick with samples and references to American hip hop songs and dance artists, a fair amount of the evening was not rave conducive. On a few songs, Tailor used prerecorded vocal tracks as he scratched and sampled and the band below him filled out the sound, but these moments became the weakest links in the concert.  Nevertheless, the multiple elements worked well together, catering to a smooth evening of trip hop grooving.

Visit Wax Tailor at http://www.waxtailor.com/.