Tom Trago’s new 12″, the album sampler to the upcoming album The Light Fantastic. Featuring the dancefloor stomper “Two Together” which was co-produced by Steffi, “True Friends” featuring Breach on the vocals and the non-album track “Avenido”.
Tom Trago is back, giddily dancing out of the studio into the dizzying light of a European summer. Tucked under his arm are the masters for his third album, The Light Fantastic. Since his most recent appearance on Rush Hour last autumn, Trago has spent most of his time in the studio. Over four memorable months, he constantly jammed, recorded, tweaked and produced tracks, until he had enough strong material to put together what might just be his best full-length to date. Along the way, he was joined by an impressive guest list of guests and collaborators from Amsterdam and beyond, all of who were roped in after “popping into the studio to hang out”.
You’ll have to wait to hear the album, but the good news is that there’s an enticing teaser of what’s to come in the shape of this formidable three-track taster. One of the tracks, the chiming, loose-limbed, bass-heavy workout “Avenido”, is exclusive to this 12”. When he sat down to make The Light Fantastic, Trago was keen to recapture the essence of his early work, and particularly the melodic warmth, kaleidoscopic chords and robust grooves that characterized his 2009 debut album, Voyage Direct. This time, though, he wanted to rely less on samples and apply the lessons learnt from four years of largely acclaimed production work. As a result, The Light Fantastic oozes a gleeful sense of fun, whilst retaining the depth and definition that has always been a hallmark of Trago’s work.
The two album tracks featured on this sampler confirm the rich dividends that this new approach brought. “True Friends”, featuring the combined talents of Brit-in-Amsterdam Ben Westbeech and local hero San Proper, bristles with loved-up positivity, all bubbling electronic melodies, fuzzy vocoder vocals and jaunty, bottom-end bounce. Then there’s the small matter of “Two Together”, an extra large helping of the kind of loopy, feel-good deep house funk with which he made his name. Expertly teased, tweaked and produced, it sees nagging hooks, darting synths, jazz keys and disco stabs riding a relentless, full-throttle groove. Co-produced with Berlin-based Dutch producer Steffi, it’s nothing less than a wide-eyed late night rush. If it doesn’t have you tripping The Light Fantastic, nothing will.