While it was Trago’s distinctive DJ sets that once grabbed headlines – he famously held residencies at renowned Amsterdam institutions Trouw and De School, and for a decade spent much of his time jetting between some of the most renowned clubs in Europe – in recent years Tom has cut down on appearances. Today, he chooses to be far more selective about where (and when) he DJs or performs live, often working with a handful of cherished venues and festivals while ensuring that his travels are sustainable and inspiring.
Instead of the grind of touring and hedonistic night-time activity, Trago has chosen to focus on music-making, alongside semi-regular forays into radio broadcasting (NTS, Radio Radio, BBC Radio and 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 Bergen aan Zee. Some of the fruits of these home sessions appear sporadically on the Jong Nederland label he founded.
As part of these lifestyle and career changes, Trago took time to look deeper, not only inside himself, but also for musical inspiration. Tom has always loved, and devoted time to, digging into a wide variety of production styles, using this inspiration to develop a trademark personal production style, but in recent years he has taken it even further. Fuelled by a desire to challenge himself, Tom consistently tries new things in the studio while channeling all he’s learned during a career that has moved 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 (Charlie Soul Clap, Awanto 3, Maxi Mill, Steffi, San Proper, Seth Troxler, and BokBok included); remixed artists including New Order, Carl Craig, Cassius, Tiga and Erol Alkan, and championed a swathe of fellow Dutch producers via the Voyage Direct label he founded in 2009.
In 2023, Tom will return to Rush Hour after a decade away (via the stunningly emotive listening album, Deco) and reignite his Voyage Direct imprint with the label’s first new music in five years. Further in the future, we can expect new projects including a new ‘west coast holland’ inspired album of electro and IDM-informed experiments, the release of a full-length album for his band Mega Wega, and music from the Shoebox side project (a collaboration with Voyage Direct artist Maxi Mill).
The future holds no fears for Tom Trago. As he has done throughout his career, he will continue to challenge himself personally and musically, striving as ever to confound expectations.
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