Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Hip-hop, R&B, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

cover art

Cosmin TRG


(50 Weapons; US: 13 Sep 2011; UK: 29 Aug 2011)

When I began hearing new music by an artist called Cosmin TRG, I didn’t quite connect the dots that this might be the same artist as the garage-infused dubstepper TRG.  There’s no real reason I should have. Cosmin Nicolae’s new TRG exists in a completely different earspace from those jittery early singles, which spanned just about every hot dubstep label one can name (Hessle Audio, Tempa, Rush Hour, Hotflush, Hemlock, Subway, et al.). One could speculate about whether his strategy is long-term survival or a genuine change of heart, but his heart now seems to have landed in Berlin—the Romanian-born London native recently relocated there—by way of Detroit.

Simulat reminds me most immediately of Shed, a backwards-looking artist whose simple structures betrayed the complex issues at play.  The album is not as immediately vexing as The Traveller, though.  With manageable time lengths, lush melodies, and less experimental tactics, Simulat won’t cause the head-scratching masses to immediately turn off.  It has repeat value too, particularly on tracks like the subterranean light show “Want You to Be”, the tense wavering of “Osue Xen” and the reflective sheen of “Less of Me, More of You”.  In fact, the album only missteps when it’s pushing its edge too hard.  Cosmin is not comfortable enough in this zone yet to turn a genre on its head.  The opening offbeat converses of “Ritmat” are meant to sound disorienting, but seem a bit sloppy instead. The cleverly named “Interstellar Inflight Entertainment” attempts to cause some cognitive dissonance by having the connection time-out mid-flight, but leaves the listener wondering whether the mix itself is corrupted or whether he or she is just being jerked around.


Timothy Gabriele is a writer who studied English and Film at the University of Massachussetts at Amherst. He currently lives in the New Haven, CT region with his family. His column, The Difference Engine, appears regularly at PopMatters. He can be found twittering @Wildcorrective and blogging at 555 Enterprises.

Cosmin TRG - "Simulat"
Related Articles
11 Feb 2013
As the name suggests, this is a resting place for weapons in a DJ’s arsenal. The tracks must still be appreciated in the form they were released -- individually.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.