Cosmin TRG, Tower Block/Béton Brut

[Hemlock Recordings]

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In its three years of existence, Untold’s Hemlock Recordings has been pushing at the boundaries of the music loosely known as dubstep. Unlike many of its peer labels, however, Hemlock isn’t moving closer to one of the more establish sub-genres of dance music like house, techno or funky; they’re expanding definition of what UK bass music can be. Much of the credit goes to Untold, whose music takes up more than half of the imprint’s catalog numbers thus far, but also to contributors such as James Blake and Ramadanman. With Tower Block/Béton Brut, we can add Romanian producer Cosmin TRG to that list as he continues Hemlock’s tradition of releasing dance music that’s all but inexplicable to those who take comfort in categorization.

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Both of its tracks have the steely, dark intensity of techno, but are too playful and eccentric to be purely heads-down affairs. Full of whoops and rigid, wonky percussion, the unsteady beats of “Tower Block” rock you into a groove all its own and refuse to let go. The term “tribal” tends to be most associated with house and a number of negative connotations, but the unshakable mental image conjured by this music is of a bonfire encircled by villagers banging it out with crude instruments. “Béton Brut” continues in the vein but is even more sinister, with low grumbling and coarse timbres akin to its namesake concrete. But make no mistake, the tribal elements here are far removed from what you might hear on Ibiza, and Tower Block/Béton Brut is far too forward-thinking and compelling to be lumped into any one sound.

bootsy colin  on September 21, 2010 at 12:39 PM

yep spot on. a really groovy, underloved record so far..


Local Records » Cosmin TRG – Tower Block, review from  on September 22, 2010 at 5:16 PM

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