Tom Trago's label Voyage Direct release 'Future Times' by Dutch talent Elia


Tom Trago's label Voyage Direct release 'Future Times' by Dutch talent Elia

With his Voyage Direct label, Tom Trago has always championed Dutch talent ' DJs and producers from the tight-knit local scene whose music moves and inspires him in equal measure. He's at it again on this 19th release, handing a debut 12' to fast-rising, Amsterdam-based DJ/producer Elias Mazian.

The 25 year-old is a much-loved figure on the Amsterdam scene, and has gained a reputation as one of the city's true underground heroes. His DJ sets are rooted in contemporary deep house and techno, but also take inspiration from '80s electro, Stevie Wonder, P-funk, disco, and the surging, snare-heavy pulse of early Chicago ghetto-house. Given this dedication to mixing things up, it's unsurprising that Trago has long been a supporter of Mazian's talents.

'Tom has been like a brother to me,' Mazian says. 'I've been focusing on my DJ career, but Tom always pushed me to make more tracks. After I'd made 'Future Times' I played it to him at his house. He loved it from the start.'

'Future Times' was made in a single productive afternoon, with Mazian quickly jamming out a track that pits attractive, far-sighted synthesizer melodies and spacey chords against cut-up hip-hop vocal samples and a righteous, snare-heavy groove. Like Mazian's DJ sets, it draws on a myriad of influences, from beatbox electro and Kraftwerk, to 21st century European deep house and Detroit techno.

It's thrillingly hard to pigeonhole, and offers a perfect introduction to Mazian's musical world. There's more far-sighted retro-futurism to be found on flipside 'They Don't Know'. Featuring heavy machine drum rhythms inspired by Mazian's love for old Dance Mania releases, and peppered with classic hip-house breaks, it sounds like a delicious fusion of B-more, DJ Rush and early British 'intelligent techno'.

It inspired a wild response from dancefloors during Tom Trago's sets at ADE, much to Mazian's delight. 'When Tom dropped it at a jam-packed Trouw that was a 'goose-bump moment',' he says. 'To hear this track you've made on a loud sound system, with people going wild' it's simply awesome!' Something tells us Mazian might have to get used to this kind of reaction in the weeks, months and years ahead. As debut 12' singles go, this one is pretty darn special.