CHOICE CUT – Cosmin TRG ‘Stimulat’

Cosmin TRG / Stimulat 

Vinyl / Digital 

50 Weapons / Released August 2011 


It’s a brave new world out there in tough electronic dancefloor fare. Many DJs have moved beyond vinyl, and at the same time production has become less dependent on the warmth and timbre of an arrangement. Things are more clangy, futurism often sounds like we’re all going to wind up living in factories, and the epic is fuelled by a heads down pastiche of rave’s heady days, as oppose to upfront ‘reach out and touch a friend’ love.

But in the case of this long-awaited debut from the latest addition to Romania’s burgeoning list of noteworthy producers the tracks, for the most part, manage to fit logically in with this sharper, contemporary take no prisoners ethic, while keeping a vibe that’s more in tune with days gone by. Of course there are no huge vocal breakdowns, or any vocals whatsoever really. But this collection is still informed by yesteryear and today alike, with the opening to Fizic potentially providing the ideal example. One minute we’re in Perc territory (by no means a bad thing, but unquestionably blunt nonetheless), and the next bouncing along to a subdued wasp in a jar 808 line that epitomises timelessness.

Which isn’t to say a second that passes wherein you’d suspect this album to be older than a few months. Less of Me, More of You crunches along with all the hi-hat led rhythm of lo-fi house, while layers of synth spiral into unchartered heights, nodding to future bass heroes, before a poised and perfectly timed deep barritone drops to complement those solid but hollow kicks, exploring BPitch like territories. Any more modern production nuances and it could be read as a cynical, albeit well executed collage of these current defining noises as oppose to a straight talking club workout, but in the end to take it as anything other than honest dance music would be nothing short of pompous over-analysis.

Refreshingly the Bucharest-based new school techno chap has also managed to master the increasingly obligatory, rarely successful ‘downbeat soundscape’, here delivering almost a handful of somewhat experimental numbers that nod to installations and soundtracks as much as anything else. The most memorable might be the key changing, crystallised harmonies of Infinite Helsinki, or the immersive cosmic tune up that is Interstellar Inflight Entertainment, but it’s a hard call to make.

Overall though there’s little doubt that the lasting impression will be one of upbeat but lucid modern feet movers that edge towards darkness, and not just because of opener Amor Y Otros, the pounding drums and reflective melody it boasts. Look elsewhere and Ritmat is an energetic, initially confusingly timed floor filler that quickly belies its challenging intro to turn what should be chin-stroking fodder into a growing and stepping acidic anthem that will bode well amongst fans of XXXY et al, and that’s just naming two. In short, everything here is well worth everyone’s extensive attention.

Cosmin TRG / Juno.