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Hope & Sorrow

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Album Review

French DJ JC la Saout, who records under the nom de club Wax Tailor, has the wide-ranging musical erudition of DJ Spooky without the latter's insufferable pretentiousness, and the Technicolor stylistic range of DJ Shadow without the latter's tendency towards unwieldy sonic sprawl. He is also — and this is interesting — not obviously concerned with showcasing his Frenchness in any noticeable way. No Johnny Hallyday or Indochine samples, no accordions, no French-language found sound. Some of his guests are French, but they all sing in English and contribute to an album that could almost be called an exercise in musical Esperanto — a mishmash of stylistic elements that draws from a wide variety of sources and adds up to something familiar-sounding but new. Not everything is spectacular, and like many of his colleagues, Wax Tailor has a maddening weakness for between-song filler. But there's more than enough spectacular content here to justify the four-star rating. Highlights include the edgily funky "Once Upon a Past," the turntablist-goes-to-the-movies brilliance of "The Tune," and "That Case," with its jazzy flute multiphonics and Mission Impossible bongo drums. Feel free to skip over "Alien in My Belly," which ends the album on a creepy and rhythmically disjointed note. Highly recommended overall.


Born: 2002

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The trip-hop performance moniker of one Jean-Christophe Le Saoût, Wax Tailor first emerged in the French electronica scene in 2004 (with the EP release Lost the Way), but didn't release his debut album until 2006. That debut, Tales of the Forgotten Melodies, was a hit both in France and in the United States, and made quite a dent on the CMJ charts that year. In 2007, Wax Tailor returned to the spotlight with his second full-length, Hope & Sorrow. Featuring vocalist Charlotte Savary...
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Hope & Sorrow, Wax Tailor
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