Ambroise Boret is a French engineer, mixer and producer located in Paris who released material under various guises from the nineties through to the early 2000’s. Here we see his Continental moniker brough back into the limelight, highlighting a selection of material from the Pushin’ It Up EP on Alliance Records. Up first is ‘Flying Dub’, as the name would suggest a dub-infused excursion through gliding chord sequences, snaking bass licks and bright string sequences while swinging analogue drums dynamically evolve throughout. ‘Way U Jack’ follows, introducing a more Chicago leaning attitude rhythmically alongside low-pitched vocal murmurs, fluttering dub chords and a bumpy bass line. Title-track ‘Whispers’ follows on the b-side next, employing ethereal atmospherics, flute like synth melodies, organ bass tones and crunchy, shuffled percussion. Rounding out the EP Cosmin TRG reworks ‘Whispers’, offering a contemporary twist on the original with intricately programmed drums, subtly nuanced introductions of the originals atmospherics, winding low-end pulsations and an overall ornate, dynamic feel.
2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before. Without the interaction on the dancefloor all this seems pointless, but we have to stay resilient and hope for the better.
Looking at the local scene in Romania, during these times of hardship with movement restriction and curfew for almost the entire part of the year, with people fears and anxiety, there was almost to nothing happening in terms of events. But, the Romanian artists proved to be fairly active in the studio. We have here a summary of releases from Romanian artists that caught our attention in 2020 and a sneakpeek in what’s to come in the first part of 2021.
Protection is a new label established by Japanese artist Haruka, which seeks to explore the spaces where techno and experimental sounds merge, and club tools blur with home listening. Here this aim is achieved with precision and care by Romanian producer and DJ Cosmin TRG. The EP is distinguished by its intricate production and focused exploration, with each track finding a distinct balance between intensity and power. This record represents an impressive addition to Cosmin TRG’s discography, and a very fitting start for Haruka’s new label.
The last few years were quite good for the electronic music world and again in 2019 there was a lot a quality music coming out and revitalization of electro, broken beat, new beat and EBM continued. Looking at the situation locally, unfortunately 2019 feels like a step back for the Romanian scene after three years of growth and development. The three pillars of the Romanian electronic music are the same Borusiade, Cosmin TRG and Khidja and very little besides them.
2019 is coming to the end so it’s that time of the year when we look back and see what caught our attention the most. As the tradition is on our side, we look first at the preferences of our readers and this is a top 3 of the most appreciated albums, compilations, mixes and other stuff.
Cosmin TRG with a new release on his label Sportiv. “Romanian Deadlift” celebrates the spirit of acclaimed Olympians with resolute, floor-shattering kickdrums and a superset of corrosive arps and leads. The tempo picks up with “Exuberant Gambit”, a jungle-tekkno hybrid that flexes a rugged, mutant “Think” break under porous beats and an eerie aerobic melody. “Mae Geri” delivers the final forward thrust with abrasive percussion underlining a paranoid sequence reminiscent of ’90s era NYC warehouse material. Packed with olympic energy, Sportiv 005 is a high-intensity, dance floor-optimised escapade.
After a good 2017 in electronic music, the trend continued in 2018 with more electro, broken beat, new beat, industrial and EBM, with new artists jumping on this train, so I’m curious where this will go in 2019.
On the local scene, in Romania, things are evolving in a slightly slower pace, but still in a good direction.
Over the last decade the work of Cosmin Nicolae has been a cresting force of forward thinking electronic music. His TRG alias formed the inaugurate release on the peerless Hessle Audio. In essence he forms an important part of the story of the cross pollination of UK bass’ music with techno and his hard work and craft has seen him maintain his fixture as a sought after talent, both producing and as a DJ. One element which always amplified his work beyond that of many other peers is Cosmin’s dedication to crafting interesting sound from scratch, a process which precedes his production and has it roots in home-brewed experimentation with instruments, electro-acoustic process and improvisation. With this debut release under his actual name, Opal Tapes has provided a space for Cosmin to have free reign to display another, looser and more experimental side of his repertoire. In many ways, an impossible album to classify, it feels as if it’s creating itself a points. The ideas therein are the genesis of so many fully functional’ songs but hearing them like this brings us so much closer to someone else’s mind and fingertips.
Com Sin is Cosmin TRG’s alter ego for the experimental, minimal project. Although he is one of the grand figures of the techno scene, under his Com Sin alias he presents a different side of his musical inclination.
2017 proved to be a good year for the electronic music world, from my point of view. With the revival of the old school electro, with acid, industrial and afrobeat still hot and EBM growing stronger, 2017 was a very interesting year music-wise.
Regarding the Romanian producers, things are also moving in a good direction. There are no new faces to the game, but the ones already there are leaving their mark and their music heard more and more.
New chapter on Nonnative series. New Semantica artists Cosmin TRG, Samuli Kemppi, Opuswerk and Refracted featuring Nonnative 09.
Cosmin TRG is back on Sportiv with two tracks of stark, angular beauty. ‘Afterburn’ harks back to 90s era Techno of the hyperkinetic variety. The obsessive vocal mantra adds to its hypnotic, frantic rhythm. ‘Electra’ on the flip is on a trance-inducing mission, with it’s cavernous 808 kick driving a tribal groove, carried by a pulsating bassline and eerie percussion. Sportiv is a dexterous white label operation that brings you heavy-weight rhythmic performances from the world of techno athletics.
The Aula Magna team presents the label’s tenth release, Rom by Seph, featuring Cosmin TRG as remixer. A modern and energetic EP that showcases the artist’s unique techno sound: deep, robust & daring. Lead track Rom kicks off the record in breakbeat manner, an epic cut that twists its sounds progressively through distorted percussive and melodic riffs. This is followed by Cosmin TRG’s tribal take on the title track, a mind-dazzling and hypnotic reinterpretation. Two techno highlights from Seph’s latest live sets thrust the B side even further into the dance floor. Inner warps its solid rhythmic core through swirling dub noise mayhem and P+1 ends the record with a steady synth chord that evolves throughout the track on top of a powerful, stripped down beat.