Since relocating from Amsterdam to Bergen on the Netherlands’ north west coast, Tom Trago has gone back to basics. Every day he jams out tracks in his home studio using a small selection of electronic instruments, drum computers and effects units, a process that allows him to quickly capture ideas, emotions and the intense moments he experiences while making music.
It’s these diverse and sometimes surprising musical moments that will be showcased on Trago’s new DIY record label, Jong Nederland. The imprint is named after the building where he now lives and works, an historic and storied place that has been home to artists of all descriptions since the 1960s. Each vinyl release will feature tracks made by Trago using his improvised, straight-to-tape technique, packaged in handcrafted sleeves illustrated by internationally renowned Dutch artist – and fellow Bergen resident – Pieter Bijwaard.
The Jong Nederland story begins with two tracks of undulating, slowly shifting dancefloor voodoo rich in crunchy drum machine hits, lilting electronic melodies and instinctive dancefloor warmth. On the A-side you’ll find “Whisper”, a hypnotic but fluid affair where hushed melodies tumble down over off-kilter polyrhythmic machine drums, spaced out effects and bubbly, ever-changing analogue electronics.
B-side “Belltower” sees Trago up the tempo a little and bounce us towards the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Utilizing a rubbery rhythm track full of sturdy but supple kick-drums and hissing cymbals, Trago layers up fizzing synthesizer lines, poignant minor key chords, wiggling acid-style motifs and starburst electronics to fire the synapses and stir the senses. Like its’ A-side companion, “Belltower” gently twists and turns throughout, reflecting the real time, hands-on changes made by its creator during the spontaneous sessions that led to its creation.