Review: A cynic could argue that Modeselektor's label has had more farewells than one of Liberace's Las Vegas residencies, but this release is worth the discerning the techno listener's attention in any event. The title track is the work of 19.94, and it's an impressive debut from this mystery act. Slow, purposeful bass supports textured drones and white noise washes. On "Narr Day Remodulated", Cosmin TRG takes the droning noise and sets it to a pumping, relentless rhythm. Combined with dark, repetitive riffs, it's the perfect counterpoint to 19.94's slow paced experiment. The 50 Weapons count down has truly begun.
Review: The fifth release on Cosmin TRG's label sees him add some Olympian power to his club techno. "Romanian Deadlift" is a nod to the gold medal-dominating achievements of his weightlifting fellow countrymen, but it also packs a weighty punch thanks to its wiry, insistent rhythm and firing percussion. On "Exuberant Gambit", the tempo shoots up as Cosmin TRG pays homage to his drum'n'bass heritage, with break beats interspersing glitchy drops and eerie textures. On "Mae Geri", he switches back towards techno, with raw beats underpinning a layered wall of sonic tones and textures. If you're looking for a high-impact dance floor release, you've come to the right place.
Review: Cosmin TRG is a true believer: through his Sportiv label he is championing the format of the hand-stamped white label, while on "Gloria", the B-side cut on this latest release, he is referencing the third league football club from his home town. Not that the track is below standard. In fact the opposite is true, thanks to its wash of fuzzy chords - echoes of deep Dutch techno from the 90s - and insistent, upfront kicks. The title track is impressive as well, with dropping a frenetic but complex break beat pattern that weaves its way through ghostly synth passages.
Review: Cosmin TRG returns to Sportiv for the label's third installment and once again, delivers a mesmerising, stream-of-consciousness release. "Afterburn" is an inspired coming together of strange bedfellows; Cosmin fuses a 'love and freedom' vocal narrative, which sounds like it was borrowed from a love-in event in Haight Astbury during the late 60s, with a tough, grainy rhythm track that wouldn't sound out of place in Berghain at peak time. "Electra" isn't quite as unusual; led by a stepping rhythm, acrid bleeps and jittery percussion, it nonetheless showcases the Romanian producer's penchant for ignoring ground rules and instead embracing the unpredictable
Review: "Oblic" and "Serpenti" were issued earlier this year on Cosmin TRG's own label. Now Fizic has commissioned two fresh interpretations. On the Lucy remix of "Serpenti" the Stroboscopic Artefacts boss brings his layered nuanced style to Cosmin's rumbling beats. Wispy sound effects and ethereal textures insinuate their way over the distinctive dull kick and step of the Romanian producer's rhythm. The reshape of "Oblic" follows a radically different approach. Sub-titled the 'Non-Newtonian Fluid' remix it sees UK producer Minor Science lay down a wiry rhythm that supports distant siren wails and a lo-fi sense of melody that calls to mind rainy streets and autumn evenings.
Review: Plans from the 50 Weapons label to offer up Gordian, Cosmin TRG's excellent LP from earlier this year, for rework and reshape seem to be edging further towards outright unpredictability with each subsequent release. Launching the series with a remix from Marcel Dettmann was a pretty standard decision from the label, but it was complemented by a jaw droppingly unusual take on "Noise Code" from jungle recyclist Lee Gamble. The inspired commissions continue apace here with remixes from Legowelt and Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker. "Terminus Abrupt," the closing track from Gordian is focus of Legowelt's attention who seemingly expands on the moment of melodic warmth that appears late in the original, whilst Whittaker tackles "Noise Code" trudging up all manner of sonic grit with menacing intent.
New Structures For Loving (Marcel Dettmann remix) - (5:31) 128 BPM
Noise Code (Lee Gamble remix) - (7:19) 130 BPM
Review: The Romanian hotshot gets his work reshaped by two of the best contemporary remixers. Marcel Dettmann is best known for his industrial-tinged techno, but his remix of the title track casts a different light on him. Shards of delicate, metallic percussion provide the basis for Dettmann to deliver fragile melodies and a mysterious electronic groove. It's an impressive about turn for the German producer, but not quite as jaw-droppingly unusual as Lee Gamble's version of "Noise Code". There, razor sharp hats soar in over a pacey, tracky rhythm that stops, starts and collapses to reveal a wobbly, cartoonish bassline. Just before the end, Gamble lets the track descend into abstract mushiness, a fitting end to an idiosyncratic remix package.
Review: Although he has flirted with dubstep, garage and house since his first appearance in 2007, Cosmin Nicolae's transformation into one of contemporary techno's most interesting figures was completed when he joined the 50 Weapons fray in 2011, releasing two twelve inches and an excellent debut album in Simulat. His follow up, Gordian, references an ancient myth and the music contained within is just as fantastical as the title suggests. The complex melodic arrangements of his previous album are expanded upon to great effect on tracks like "New Structures For Loving" and "Defeated Hearts Club", recalling the more exciting end of 00s minimal, while tracks like "Gordian", "Desire Is Sovereign" and "To Touch Is To Divert" are as forceful and driving as his Rush Hour releases; once again Cosmin has taken a great leap forward.
Review: Build boss Baobinga teams up with Ginz (from the "Purple City") and Cosmin TRG on this debut from his new label. Title tune "The Good Stank" is just as brilliant as you'd expect from this team of post-dubsteppers, with big live drums played at a half-speed and a cavalcade of bubbly synths spewing nicely over the mix, all anchored by a soulful synth melody. "I Get Ruff" on the other hand is uptempo and just as kaleidoscopic - with Baltimore-style drums and deep bass firming up the rhythm. Clearly this won't be the last diamond to come out on Build.
Review: The seventh instalment on Tommy Four Seven's label spans a wide gamut of modern techno. At one end, there's the simmering, droning abstractions of Eomac's "Refugee", while at the other end of the scale, the label owner drops "UUU", a peak-time acid banger that cruises with murderous intent. In between both of these extremes, the release yields two tracks that in many ways encapsulate the ever-shifting nature of modern electronic music. Cosmin TRG and Szare come from different backgrounds - the former originally from drum'n'bass, the latter from purist techno - but on "Singe" and "Invern" respectively, their rumbling rhythms and textured atmospherics arriving at the same destination from different start points.
Review: Continuing the nascent Bleep Green series of releases, Warp's faithful online arm draws on two surefire success stories that in many ways define the crossover between techno and dubstep, albeit in different ways. Objekt is in limber form, firing off ricocheting electro drum patterns in a densely realised soundworld of subtle hum and cell-quaking sub bass. Cosmin TRG is in a slower 4/4 driven mood, but there's a continued embrace of dystopian tones that matches Objekt's own malaise. As the acid slowly edges its way into the song structure, it's clear there is no light at the end of this particularly dank tunnel.
Review: Following that excellent Bicep collaboration, Simian Mobile Disco join forces with Cosmin TRG for the latest release on their Delicacies label. On paper the two parties make logical collaborators thanks to their love of minimal textures and subtle melody, and in execution the results are a resounding success; "Surstromming" sees those rubbery acidic basslines SMD are famous for take a pulsating approach, throbbing its way through subtle dub chords and a robust 4/4 rhythm. "Sannakji" meanwhile is a considerably trippier affair, combining a taut arpeggio with well placed moments of ecstatic chord release. Two tracks sure to cause maximum warehouse devastation!
Review: Here's us waxing lyrical about the third Interia sampler being the best of the lot, and then the fourth one lands on our laps and now we're all confused. Skudge, Conforce, Cosmin TRG and Sascha Rydell all contribute tracks here, with Swedish duo Skudge opening with the sparse rattle of "Pollution", which is ably supported by the twitching minimalism of "When It Appeared" by Conforce. Up next, Cosmin TRG adds to his growing techno oeuvre with "Plaisir Interdit", which, much like his recent material on 50 Weapons, combines restless, swinging hats with bowel-shaking low frequencies. Finally, Sascha Rydell (the only artist on this 12" who hasn't released an album this year) drops "Rainy Days", and rather then being overawed by the esteemed company, he revels in it, turning in a majestic slice of atmospheric, contemplative techno.
Review: It may not have the catchiest title, but this remix package from Modeselektor's label manages to cover a range of sounds and styles. At one end of the spectrum there's the high-paced, spaced out jungle rework of Addison groove and Sam Binga's "Rzor" by DJ Friction, while at the opposing end, Tale Of Us and Fango turn Cosmin TRG's "Vertigo" into a deep, reflective broken beat arrangement, replete with jazzy inflections and clattering rhythms. The biggest surprises however come from Marcel Dettmann and Chris Liebing. The Berghain resident's Pitch & Stretch take on Moderat's "Bad Kingdom" is a hyperactive, ravey workout , while Liebing's version of Benjamin Damage's " 010x", which the CLR boss did with SCNTST is a dark but deep-chord techno groove.
Review: All lists are subjective, but there's no doubt that Bambounou aka Jeremy Guindo-Zegiestowski has done a fine job in compiling this selection from Modeselektor's 50 Weapons label. Tracks that start off as functional techno workouts - Datei42's "They Explore Themselves" and the Truncate take on Benjamin Damage's "010x" - progress to reveal glowing chord sequences, while the compilation twists and turns through noisy soundscapes (Benjamin Damage's "Spirals"), thumb-snapping tight footwork (Addison Groove & Sam Binga's "Thr3id)" and some ultra-lean techno from Marcel Dettmann and Cosmin TRG. However, nothing can compare to the washes of old school rave synths and lithe break beats that constitute Shed's "The Dirt".
Review: The quality of the 50 Weapons output is always supreme and our German friends really do know how to pull together a diverse and extensive collection of their latest catalogue signings - a sure buy for anyone wanting a glimpse into the world of the most cutting-edge bass music around. Among the twelve stormers we have Dark Sky's "Shutter Speed" which pulls together wacky basslines and rolling tech beats; Addison Groove's usual footwork magic represented here as "I Go Boom"; "Malfunction (Despair) by the nuttiest technoid producer known to man - A Made Up Sound - and even Marcel Dettman's foreboding "Linux" monster. An essential collection.
Review: The people who got to know Niels 'Delta Funktionen' Luinenberg through his ponderous Electromagnetic Radiation release or the adeptly programmed warm-up sets posted online may be surprised by the approach on Inertia. However, its direction could hardly be described as unexpected. The second volume of Electromagnetic Radiation and the grimy warehouse techno of Silhouette make perfectly clear that the Dutch DJ/producer likes to play it hard as well as deep. In that regard, Niels is not alone, and this mix, which consists solely of exclusive material, shows that a whole new wave of European techno producers is on the same wavelength. The mixture of the musical and forceful is audible from the outset, with textured chords unfolding over an angular rhythm on Sascha Rydell's "Rainy Days", a few tracks later as Cosmin TRG does his best mid to late 90s Ian Pooley techno impersonation over a rolling, warm bass and midway through on Peter Van Hoesen's "Last One at 1080", where evocative but eerie pads build to the backdrop of a prowling groove. It's a stunning finish to a mix that effortlessly balances the hard and the soulful.