Over the past five years, Romanian-born, Berlin-based producer Cosmin TRG has been dependingly crafting solid, forward-thinking club music, releasing nothing but quality across a myriad of A-list labels (Hessle, Rush Hour, Hyperdub, Hemlock, Tempa, and more). Despite this, his streak has seemed a little understated; Twitter doesn't explode when a new Cosmin TRG track gets dropped on Boiler Room or Rinse FM, and the bass-music faithful don't exactly sing his praises as loud as they do for Blawan and Joy Orbison. In that sense, TRG is something of a producer's producer, as his loudest praise often comes from his contemporaries—artists who know how prolific and consistent the man has been over the years and how potent his productions can be on the dancefloor. Now, almost a year after his debut LP, Simulat, gave us a wider picture of Cosmin TRG's talents, he returns to the 50 Weapons label with another solid single.
When TRG was getting started (delivering Hessle Audio's first release with "Put You Down" b/w "Broken Heart"), bass music wasn't yet a widely used term and the scene was just coming into its own, putting together pieces of dubstep, house, garage, techno, and more in an exciting new way. Cosmin TRG was at the forefront of that evolution. Recently though, his productions have really only been loosely tied to bass music, moving more and more towards pumping techno and every so often offering a slice of heavy-handed house. Both "Vertigo" and "Sommer" continue in this vein, removing all traces of shuffle or skitter and focusing on crisp, robust drum-machine tones.
The a-side begins with a detailed, textured sequence of alien bells and the granulated sound of some door creaking or a switch being flipped. As kicks and toms begin to build up, a sequence of buzzing, filtered chords trickle in while a number of FX and strange noises float from side to side. From there, TRG essentially lets the machines take over, guiding them to continually more propulsive places and fitting an impressive amount of rich sonic elements into the mix as things move along. It takes a talented producer to make sense of all these pieces, and Cosmin TRG does so with a veteran's hand, fitting all the rolling snares, frantic claps, bulging bass notes, sequenced chords, and countless other auditory caveats into one massive cohesion of pumping and breathing techno. "Sommer" works in much the same way, but relies on just one sequence, making a rhythmic pattern out of a synth tone that sounds halfway between a sampled chorus of vocals and a space-age organ. Where "Vertigo" moves with the ebbs and flows of a composition, "Sommer" seems a little more raw—as if it was tracked live (especially the drums, which sound like their overall volume is controlled by hand). In that sense, it is a bit more of a tool than it is a full-on track, leaving plenty of space to be combined with other similarly non-key-oriented tunes.
Although Cosmin TRG's 2011 record had plenty to hold us over, it is certainly nice to have him back, and, as always, showing up in top form. And just to drive home the point that he is one of the hardest-working producers around today, this single also comes with the announcement that the man is currently working on another LP, set to drop sometime next year.