April 03 2014

Turn On The Light Fantastic

New York-Le Bain

Le Bain: Your first record was released by Rush Hour in 2006. Since then, you have released three albums - the latest being 'The Light Fantastic'. Do you still think the album format is relevant in dance music?

Tom Trago: For one, it its a great way for me to give myself a deadline and work on a project in a certain amount of time. Its also a good way to wrap up a certain period in your life, the music is just a reflection of how I feel. The album format gets less & less attention in the digital society we are living in, but I grew up on albums and I really liked to listen to more than one or two tracks of what an artist has to say. By listening to a full album you can get into a certain world/soundscape/space easier, I love that.

Tom Trago True Friends (Rush Hour)

What are your three all time favorite albums?
Harco Pront, Jibberish
The way these songs are constructed is very original and authentic to me. I just cant stop listening to it. He is one of the best musicians from the Netherlands!

Sly Stone, There's A Riot Going On
This album embodies the golden era of music from the States.

Moodymann: Moodymann
Moodyman is a super journey into Detroit house and soul music. I've been a big fan of his works for ages, and this album is a crown on his pretty impressive discography.

Your relationship with your label has been very stable, loyal and productive... Would you use the same three adjectives to describe yourself?
I can't say I'm emotionally stable, I have my highs and my lows, mountains and valleys. Loyal, yes. I try to stay close with the people I love, although because of all the traveling, sometimes its difficult to keep up with everyone. Productive, yes. I work hard, and I love it. I just love to make music everyday, so it comes easy to me and I feel very fortunate to be in this position.

You now curate your own label to release Dutch producers. It's called 'Voyage Direct'. What's your greatest thing about it so far?
This year I received so much new dope music, it makes me very proud of the scene we have now in Holland, it's very inspiring. I'm very happy that we have young cats on board like Maxi Mill, as well as veterans like Legowelt and Dexter.

If you had to do go on a trip right now (a 'Voyage Direct'), where would you go?
I think I would go back to Kerala, India to Blooming Bay. I went last year to retreat & refresh.

You've said that producing can be pretty lonely, what about all of those machines you're surrounded by?
I talk to them and they have names, for real. I also scream at them if they do stuff I don't like. So in that sense I'm not alone. I do believe that certain analog gear have its own ways of doing things and therefore it sort of has a soul. Analog modulation of sound is so unique that I do believe there is some sort of life in this.

Sunday April 6, Le Bain presents Nouveau York X Rinsed featuring Tom Trago (Rush Hour, Amsterdam), Blacky II and Dan Wender (Rinsed). We celebrate the release of Tom Trago's new album 'The Light Fantastic'. 9pm-3am. The Standard, High Line.