Tom Trago makes confident strides between dance and pop on this preview of the forthcoming album, Iris. Back in 2007 the Dutchman released a seven-track EP called Nod Navigators, which was the unmistakable work of a hip-hop aficionado. It's an influence that is revisited here just as notably (if not more so) as the disco-house leanings of his more recent work. "Being with You," for instance, dips in and out of broken beats that give its Morgan Geist-style pop an urban swing, while the riff-heavy house of "What You Do" features Tyree Cooper in a fully-fledged, if slightly corny, rap.
As a sampler, its cherry-picking of other styles bodes well for those apprehensive of the straight-up house album. The production is sharp, with lavish pads, lambent synths, the odd uplifting string section and full-bodied bass, setting a range from blissed-out to grinding. The bouncing Moog line of "Space Balloon" is a good example of the latter, though it's punctuated by brief interludes of sweeping, sonic lasers that elevate the funk to higher planes. If Trago manages to stay on these over the course of 15 tracks, then Iris should be a treat.
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Tracklist: Tom Trago - Iris Album Sampler A1 Being With You
A2 Space Balloon
B What You Do