Wax Tailor: Dusty Rainbow From The Dark
The French has a certain “je ne sais pas quoi” with turntables. From four-time Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Champions C2C to critically acclaimed producers like Onra, the French know their way around vinyl. Wax Tailor fits perfectly into that litany of talent Frenchmen. Starting as a radio DJ in the 1990s, Tailor came into his own in the early 2000s with his breakout single “Que Sera.”
As exhibited on “Que Sera,” Wax Tailor has a pension for taking old and forgotten records and giving them new life. That pension is what drives Dusty Rainbow From The Dark, Wax Tailor’s fourth album. The album’s liner notes state “this album has been entirely composed with rebuilt instruments, dusty notes and other textures captured from old vinyls.” With these captured textures and notes, Wax Tailor creates a record that straddles the line between boom bap hip hop and cinematic overture. Similar to his previous efforts, these complex instrumentals are not allowed to stand on their own and instead an international cast of guests are invited in to vocalize the tracks to a varying degree of success.
“Dusty Rainbow” features Charlotte Savary who gives the trip hop instrumental a wispy female lead. With Savary at the helm, the track is reminiscent of Portishead but if you focus on the instrumental, it is clear that the track is complex enough that it could have stood on its own. There is the sound of a glockenspiel, an oboe, a bassoon, orchestral strings, and a timpani among other aural stimulation which gets overshadow by Savary’s vocals.
Not every vocal track is superfluous. France-by-way-of-America emcee, Mattic delivers one of the album’s best vocal performances over “The Sound.” The instrumental has an old skool hip hop feel that is reminiscent of Jurassic 5. Unfortunately, Dusty Rainbow From The Dark features many more female trip hop style tracks than old skool hip hop joints.
The most infuriating part of the album has to be the “storyline.” Not only is Dusty Rainbow From The Dark, Wax Tailor’s attempt to make an all sample-based record but it is also his attempt at telling a bedtime story. The story element of the album was written by Wax Tailor and Sara Genn and is narrated by Don McCorkindale at different points throughout the album. Without getting too heavily bogged down in the story, the basic gist is: there is a boy who finds his “dusty rainbow” in records during a rainy couple of days.
Despite the largely unsuccessful narrative portion of the album, Dusty Rainbow From The Dark is a fairly good release for Tailor. The album shows a master sampler at the top of his game able to draw influences from outdated records to create something completely new and often enchanting. If only he could focus on that aspect rather than guest appearances and storylines, Wax Tailor may yet create the essential turntablist recording.
MP3: Wax Tailor featuring Mattic “The Sound”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl