Vernon, Normandy, France-based DJ, producer Jean Christophe Le Saoût is an acclaimed producer and DJ who can trace his career back to the 90s: After a stint as a radio host in the Paris suburb, Mantes-La-Jolie, Le Saoût founded La Formule. In 1998 Le Saoût founded Lab’Oratoire Records and continued to produce material from La Formule, as well as Break Beat compilations and a collaboration with Swedish act Looptrop.
The Vernon, Normandy-based producer and DJ started the critically acclaimed symphonic, trip-hop solo recording project Wax Tailor in 2001, first appearing on a remix of Looptroop and La Formule’s “Deep Under Water.” Since then Le Saoût has released five, critically acclaimed full-length albums — 2005’s Tales of the Forgotten Melodies, 2007’s Hope & Sorrow, 2009 In The Mood For Life and 2016’s By Any Means Necessary — which found the French producer collaborating with an eclectic and diverse array of artists from all over the world.
Le Saoût’s sixth Wax Tailor album The Shadow of Their Suns is slated for release tomorrow. The album is the French producer’s first bit of new material in five years — and album continues his long-held reputation for collaborating with a diverse and eclectic array of artists, with the album featuring guest spots from D. Smoke, Rosemary Standley, Gil Scott-Heron, Del The Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Yugen Blakrock, Boog Brown, and JOVM mainstays Adeline and Mark Lanegan.
The Shadow of Their Suns‘ material comes as a result of a lengthy period of deliberate and deep introspection inspired by a desire to truly observe and understand life in a way that’s impossible while living in the whirlwind of it all. And considering the horrible events of yesterday, an album that encourages observation, reflection, collaborative discussion, cooperation and collective action seems more urgent than ever.
The album’s latest single “Just A Candle” is a cinematic yet glitchy track featuring Mark Lanegan’s imitable and expressive vocals over a futuristic yet lush production centered around atmospheric synths, skittering beats, plucked bass and gorgeous bursts of soaring strings. Sonically the song — to my ears at least — is a seamless synthesis of Mark Lanegan’s solo work, Portishead and Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp, but as a sobering meditation of life and death.
“I started working on the demo in early 2019 & immediately called it ‘Candle’,” Le Saoût shares. “I had this vision of a candle as an allegory of life. The candle that illuminates us, burns out, and one day turns off. I had scenes in mind and I wanted to play on the contrast between a dry and dark rhythm and incandescent arrangements to illustrate this path of life. I added the gimmick of the blown candle that illustrates the unknown. I then invited Mark who injected his print to the song. I’ve been a big fan of Mark Lanegan for a long time & I was waiting for the right song to invite him. In a music industry where bending your back is often a conditioned reflex, Mark is a great humble man who goes through the decades without artifice, with talent and righteousness.”
Directed and edited by Berkay Turk, who also created the video for “Misery,” the new video for “Just A Candle” is a post-apocalyptic and futuristic video that follows an astronaut wandering through an abandoned world and through a highly symbolic and Dali-esque journey through space. Throughout, the video offers a meditation on time, space and our infinitesimal smallness within an unfathomable large, indifferent universe.