The work of Romanian producer Cosmin Nicolae - either as TRG or under his updated Cosmin TRG moniker - has to date been incredibly varied. Given his knack at production and his attention to detail, he’s managed to let his music evolve ahead of the trends. Possessing the very first release on the much lauded Hessle Audio imprint (Resident Advisor’s label of the month back in Jan 2009 and a label whose stock has only risen since with a slew of quality releases from the label’s core producers, Ramadanman, Pangaea and Joe) Cosmin has consistently flaunted different styles, releasing across a plethora of respected labels (Tempa, Soul Motive, Immerse and the afore mentioned Hessle).
Switching up from the 2-step loaded bump of early releases like ‘Put You Down,’ ‘Move Dis’ and ‘Decisions’ to a more 4x4 orientated style that’s slowed itself up a little while keeping the celebrated toughness he always manages to harness, he changed his name, prefixing the trio of initials with his Christian name around the time of his second release on Tempa, the ‘Now You Know EP.’ Seemingly signifying a switch up with the updated artist name and title of the EP, he displayed a new style across the EP, giving his music a more insistent pulse that more than hinted at a love for house music’s regularity.
Keeping an element of brutality in his punishing kick drums, Cosmin’s music seems to effortlessly straddle the divide between multiple styles, applying pressure both in dubstep and mid set in UK funky raves; something that’s not gone unnoticed with publications like FACT musing heavily about his unpredictability. With his debut live set, the very first time he’ll perform live, on the horizon Friday next week we caught up with the producer to find out what we can expect and grab ourselves an awesome taster mix, which you can download for keeps after the jump.
What’s the scene for underground electronic music like in your native Romania?
Dance music has been quite surprisingly healthy given the rather bleak circumstances it had to evolve with. There are loads more producers around these days which is great, and the club nights are still brimming with enthusiasm. The scene can be a bit quaint but it’s seductive at the same time, one thing is certain though; some of the nights here are cutting-edge and up there with most of the trendy cities up there.
How did you get into that type of music yourself?
Just like anyone else I suppose, taking my parents' records and tapes and hunting for new sounds. I've always been into electronic music of all sorts and although it wasn't easy to get hold of music in pre-2000 era, I tried to look for fresh sounds and experiments.
Can you recommend the sort of styles/producers you are listening to and enjoying currently?
I can't really stay focused on a single style at the moment, but I think the mix I did for you showcases what I'm into these days; a sort of organic, dusty, futuristic vibe. I'm into stuff like Actress, Four Tet, the Frozen Border records, STL, KiNK, updated house, techno from Modern Love artists to Robert Hood or Dettmann and loads more.
After early releases on Hessle Audio and Tempa, you’ve flipped up your sound a little of little, persuing more of a 4x4 shuffle. Was this something you’ve always done? Was it a conscious decision to change direction?
I was doing 4x4 stuff even before my first 12" came out on Hessle, it was pretty formulaic though. I kept working on it in the background and over the last couple of years I became more and more into it. More so than my dubstep/garage, I just became less and less enthusiastic about that sound and couldn't really vibe with it anymore. It had nothing to do with the genres per se, just my compulsion to diversify and look for something new. I did change my name to signal a shift in the music, at the same time I liked the sound of my own name better than the 3 initials. It just makes it more personal.
You are performing your first ever live show down here on the 20th. What’s the set up? What can people expect?
The set-up is fairly minimal, I don't play any instruments but I'm pushing a lot of buttons and trying to look cool. I'm performing and re-interpreting my own material, 90% of which is brand new and there are some bits that nobody's ever heard so it should be an interesting experience. The clues about the sound are, again, in my FABRICLIVE mix. It has its artsy moments, but its all dancefloor material and I can't wait to play it out.
You’re doing a joint live show with FaltyDL too right?
We're playing together at Unsound Festival in Poland, October 23rd. It should be pretty crazy. We haven't decided if we're going to wear shirts and ties or identical track suits yet. As for the music, it's going to be a spur of the moment thing.
What else have you got coming up project/release wise?
‘Tower Block’ b/w ‘Beton Brut’ is out on Hemlock August 16th, my remix of FaltyDL’s ‘St Marks’ is also out. There's more coming out on Rush Hour (‘Liebe Suende’/’ Sores Of Attraction’), as well as a remix I've done for Aardvarck's Nosestep. I'm in London for 2 months working on tracks for the album. I’m also keeping a few other projects close to the chest for the moment, but news should be out soon.
1. Unknown - Unknown
2. Falty DL - St. Marks (Cosmin TRG remix)
3. MRSK - Close to Me
4. Nick Lawson - You Look Good
5. Ezequiel Sanchez - Going to Dance (Catz n Dogz Remix)
6. Soul Clap - Break 4 Life
7. Cosmin TRG - Sores of Attraction
8. Frozen Border - FB05 A
9. Glimpse - Emplyable Enjoyable (Marcel Dettmann remix)
10. STL - Subway Hustle
11. Recloose - MYM
12. Cosmin TRG - Liebe Suende
13. Heartthrob - In My Room
14. Doc Daneeka - Hold On
15. Oracy - Bass Mood
16. Pfirter - Arcon
17. Lone - Pineapple Crush
Catch Cosmin TRG’s debut live set in Room One alongside Ms Dynamite, Redlight, MJ Cole & Serocee, Addison Groove (LIVE) and Hatcha on Friday 20th August. The Hessle Audio residency continues the same night with 2562 and Blawan joining Ramadanman, Pangaea and Ben UFO in Room Three.