Waxing lyrical, but is he tailor-made for this millennium?

The ‘80s had Dépêche Mode, the ‘90s had Nirvana, and the ‘00s had Napster. It seems that the further we move into the new millennium, the more the world of music has screamed for a defining genre to help define the new digital generation.

Some will point to the electronic scene that’s exploded onto the dancefloors as the sound of the decade. But as Frenchman Wax-Tailor pointed out (aka Jean-Christophe Le Sauôt), slapping an electronic title on generic pop won’t help define anything.

“Electronic music means a lot and nothing at the same time,” he told the Indonesia Clubbing website. “Club music, trip-hop and electro-pop have all labelled that somehow. But they’re all totally different genres.”

In many ways, Wax-Tailor’s music can also be lumped in with the electronic crowd. His background platform − which is kitted out with Macs, turntables and a thousand wires − would encourage most to call him nothing more than a celebrity underground DJ, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“On a personal note, I’m a jazz child,” he told Indonesia Clubbing. “I grew up with that and then fell into the hip-hop world, but my references would always be 1970s pop and progressive rock, from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin.”

What’s unique about Le Sauôt’s music is that it’s a complete mash-up of music samples intertwined with 1950s movie sound bites, onstage rap and string instruments. Oh, and there’s a flute player too. The mixture between acoustic and electronic instruments delivers a familiar yet original sound that isn’t generally found within live club acts.

“Yes, there’s no denying the influence of electronic music,” Wax-Tailor told Bamboo Music. “But why not use it to add to what already exists, rather than just use it to replace instruments altogether?”

The inclusion of the live cello on stage not only adds emphasis to the strong bass beats coming out of the speakers, but also delivers a type of melancholy to the music. It’s much like the trip-hop scene that emerged in the late ‘90s through the likes of Massive Attack and Morcheeba.

“Victor Hugo once said: ‘Melancholy is the happiness of being sad’. And I appreciate that,” Wax Tailor explained to the Welde Media website. “The cello gives a darker aspect to the music that just can’t be recreated through digital form alone.”

In addition to the highly original set-up that Le Sauôt brings to his live performances, he uses cinematic visualisations in order to perceptually captivate his audience as much as possible. This approach also allows Wax-Tailor to visually carry his celebrity guests along on tour, such ‘The Voice’, ‘Charlie Winston’ and ‘Charlotte Savary’, who appear on a projected screen and perform along with Wax-Tailor as if in person.

Maybe the new millennium’s failure to so far find its own sound has led to musicians, like Le Sauôt, looking back at old influences to create something new.

Wax-Tailor might not be this generation’s defining new sound, but he’s definitely got something we can admire until we make our minds up as to what will truly define us within the world of music.

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