Tom Trago (Nl) — The Late Show
Two decades into his winding journey through music culture, Tom Trago can be considered an integral part of the Dutch electronic scene – a producer, DJ, label owner, collaborator, remixer, and radio host renowned not only for his impressive productivity but also the impressive depth and variety of his work.
While it was once Trago’s distinctive DJ sets that once grabbed headlines – he famously held residencies at renowned Amsterdam spots Trouw and De School, and for a decade spent much of his time jetting between some of the biggest and most renowned clubs and festivals, all over the world – in recent years he’s cut down on appearances. Today, he’s far more selective about when and where he DJs, developing relationships with a handful of cherished venues and festivals.
Instead of the grind of touring and hedonistic night-time activity, Trago has chosen to focus on music-making & making his travels sustainable and inspiring while also making semi-regular forays into radio broadcasting such as NTS, Radio Radio, BBC Radio or EchoBox. He now spends most of his days producing and remixing at his new SR-3 studio in Alkmaar and his seaside home-come-studio in Jong Nederland, Bergen aan Zee. Some of the fruits of these improvised daily sessions appear sporadically on the label he founded of the same name.
Tom Trago took time to look deeper, not only inside himself but also for musical inspiration. He’s always enjoyed digging into a wide variety of musical styles and translating these influences into a distinctive, personal production style – a quick dive into his discography will confirm this – but in recent years, he’s taken it even further, fired in part by a desire to challenge himself, try different things in the studio and channel all he’s learned during a career that at one point was moving forwards at breakneck speed.
Since making his debut in 2006, Trago has released six critically acclaimed albums (two of which, the eclectic, beat-focused, career-spanning, Patta-released archive dive, 18, and the dancefloor excursion, Trembala, appeared in 2022), extensively worked with Dutch electronic music institutions Rush Hour and Dekmantel, collaborated with countless friends and contemporaries including Charlie Soul Clap, Awanto 3, Maxi Mill, San Proper, Seth Troxler and BokBok, and championed a swathe of fellow Dutch producers via the Voyage Direct label he founded in 2009.
Returning to Rush Hour in 2023 after a decade away with a stunningly emotive listening album, Deco, and reigniting Voyage Direct with the label’s new music. Throughout, he’ll continue to challenge himself personally and musically, striving as ever to confound expectations.
Tom Trago once claimed that he felt a physical need to make music every day, and it’s hard to think of anyone whose immersion in music is quite as complete. Tom Trago is known for his versatility across electronic music genres, deep beats and grooves, and remixes for giants such as Depeche Mode. His genre-blurring sound and unique style have made him an influential figure in the world of electronic music.
Sammy The Bullet
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