Wax Tailor & The Dusty Rainbow Experience at Bottom Lounge | Concert preview
French producer’s downtempo concept album comes alive.
One of the downsides to having an artistic pseudonym is anonymity. When downtempo hip-hop producer Wax Tailor started gaining some traction in France, fans would stop him after shows and thank him for flying over from the U.S. There was no need, he’d say; after all, he was French himself.
So complete was the sonic universe that Wax Tailor (a.k.a. Jean-Christophe Le Saoût) created over three albums of dense, psychedelic, sample-heavy downtempo, that fans presumed it came from an American producer, someone like RJD2, with whom Wax Tailor has toured frequently. It’s an easy mistake to make. Like RJ, Tailor is a genius sampler with a gift for combining jazzy instrumentation, breakbeats and scratching into shockingly soulful and optimistic arrangements. On his latest, the double LP Dusty Rainbow from the Dark, he draws on childhood make-believe for a fairy-tale format concept album in which the young protagonist looks for none other than…a dusty rainbow. The tracks are held together by narration that sounds as if it was pulled from a 1940s movie, and guest spots feature a who’s who of left-of-center hip-hoppers including Aloe Blacc and Elzhi.
Billed as the Dusty Rainbow Experience, Tailor’s live show amps things up compared to a typical, chilled-out DJ set, sounding more like Disney gone trip-hop. The show is built around video projections tied to the album story line, and fleshed out with live guests like rapper Mattic and vocalist Charlotte Savary. This gig concludes a 12-date U.S. tour, so don’t forget to thank Wax for making the trip.