With his Voyage Direct label, Tom Trago has always championed Dutch talent ï¿½ DJs and producers from the tight-ï¿½â€knit local scene whose music moves and inspires him in equal measure. Heï¿½s at it again on this 19th release, handing a debut 12ï¿½ to fast-ï¿½â€ rising, Amsterdam-ï¿½â€based DJ/producer Elias Mazian.The 25 year-ï¿½â€old is a much-ï¿½â€loved figure on the Amsterdam scene, and has gained a reputation as one of the cityï¿½s true underground heroes. His DJ sets are rooted in contemporary deep house and techno, but also take inspiration from ï¿½80s electro, Stevie Wonder, P-ï¿½â€funk, disco, and the surging, snare-ï¿½â€heavy pulse of early Chicago ghetto-ï¿½â€house.
Given this dedication to mixing things up, itï¿½s unsurprising that Trago has long been a supporter of Mazianï¿½s talents. ï¿½Tom has been like a brother to me,ï¿½ Mazian says. ï¿½Iï¿½ve been focusing on my DJ career, but Tom always pushed me to make more tracks. After Iï¿½d made ï¿½Future Timesï¿½ I played it to him at his house. He loved it from the start.ï¿½
ï¿½Future Timesï¿½ was made in a single productive afternoon, with Mazian quickly jamming out a track that pits attractive, far-ï¿½â€sighted synthesizer melodies and spacey chords against cut-ï¿½â€up hip-ï¿½â€hop vocal samples and a righteous, snare-ï¿½â€heavy groove. Like Mazianï¿½s DJ sets, it draws on a myriad of influences, from beatbox electro and Kraftwerk, to 21st century European deep house and Detroit techno. Itï¿½s thrillingly hard to pigeonhole, and offers a perfect introduction to Mazianï¿½s musical world.
Thereï¿½s more far-ï¿½â€sighted retro-ï¿½â€futurism to be found on flipside ï¿½They Donï¿½t Knowï¿½. Featuring heavy machine drum rhythms inspired by Mazianï¿½s love for old Dance Mania releases, and peppered with classic hip-ï¿½â€house breaks, it sounds like a delicious fusion of B-ï¿½â€more, DJ Rush and early British ï¿½intelligent technoï¿½. It inspired a wild response from dancefloors during Tom Tragoï¿½s sets at ADE, much to Mazianï¿½s delight. ï¿½When Tom dropped it at a jam-ï¿½â€packed Trouw that was a ï¿½goose-ï¿½â€bump momentï¿½,ï¿½ he says. ï¿½To hear this track youï¿½ve made on a loud sound system, with people going wildï¿½ itï¿½s simply awesome!ï¿½
Something tells us Mazian might have to get used to this kind of reaction in the weeks, months and years ahead. As debut 12ï¿½ singles go, this one is pretty darn special.