Cosmin TRG, Liebe Suende/Sores of Attraction

[Rush Hour Recordings]

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It seems like Dutch label Rush Hour is a little bit in love with Cosmin Nicolae, featuring him on three of the four releases on their new-to-2010 Direct Current offshoot. Really though, they can’t be blamed — who isn’t in love with Romania’s top dubstep-cum-2step-cum-techno-cum-house superstar? TRG’s evolution has been remarkable even for the notoriously unstable realm of dubstep, and 2010 has seen him explore more explicitly techno and house realms while remaining wrapped up in his implacable, thick-skinned weirdness. “Liebe Suende” and “Sores of Attraction” see him revisiting the dusty, acrid textures of previous Direct Current release, See Other People, though this time he places them in a deep house framework not too far removed from the sort of retro stuff that Rush Hour regularly releases. Lo and behold, it works wonderfully.

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“Liebe Suende” announces itself with a mammoth kick, that distinctly old-school sound fetishizing hissy sibilance. The track revisits the same sort of pseudo-onomatopoeic vocal flexibility of his recent work, letting loose vocal samples both recognizable and inhuman to ride the groove. Nicolae wouldn’t be satisfied with a tracky deep house tool, and so he swells up luxurious pads that sound stolen right out from a lost Night Slugs dub and drills for acid deep into the track with a squelchy bass line. Delving into more abstract territory is “Sores of Attraction,” which dedicates its entire first minute to a droning sample before dropping similarly aged drum samples. The track is its flipside’s obese brother, utilizing the same psychedelic swells but barely able to stand or move underneath its suffocating weight, occasionally flailing wildly with festive percussion before receding into the depths of its weirder sounds. With this release, TRG is creeping closer and closer to more traditional sounds, but he’s not ready to leave behind his pan-European, idiosyncratic toolbox just yet.

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