Wax Tailor, France's Jean-Christophe Le Saoût, makes music that amasses descriptors. Post-hip-hop, trip-hop, downtempo, turntablism: All of these words have been used to characterize his four-LP, nine-year recording career.
"All of those descriptions are just a stamp on the music," he says. "I feel more comfortable about this now, but five years ago I was always explaining that it's not this or that. But those stamps are always partly true, and they also don't give a complete definition."
Whatever Wax Tailor's work is called, he makes mostly instrumental music that sounds more like a film score than a self-contained album. I asked him about 2012's ambitious Dusty Rainbow From the Dark, an album about a kid listening to records during a storm, before his Feb. 6 show at the High Noon Saloon.
You've been upfront about Dusty Rainbow being a concept album. Why did you decide to make an album like this?
I had the idea from the beginning: I wanted to make an album that had a storyteller. It was an obsession for me. At the beginning I had no idea what kind of story or anything like that. I started with doing all the music first, because to me, the music is a big character. And then after finishing the music, I knew I wanted to make an allegory about the power of the evocation of music.
How will you stage the songs live?
It's a small setup: me and some guest vocalists. But I've been working hard on the visuals for the shows. For like nine months, I've been working with 20 directors, and everything in the live show is built around those visuals. I built it like a new version of the story of the album. I think it's going to be cool.
You've said you make your music like you're making a movie.
It is like a movie, except it's different based on whoever is listening to it. It's a lot about your own imagination. It's exactly the same process as reading a book. It's very personal.