Review: Cosmin TRG – SPORTIV005

Romanian genre-spanning Cosmin TRG adds to his Sportiv label with an accomplished and playful release.

In February, Berlin-based producer Cosmin Nicolae released ‘I Hope This Finds You Well’ under his Cosmin TRG moniker. An ambient album poking fun at monolithic corporate culture, it’s a far cry from his dubstep roots and, later, the brooding techno he developed under his Fizic label.

It’s a testament to the versatility of Nicolae, then, that 3 months later he could put out as competent and well-honed a release as SPORITV005 – the fifth instalment on his Sportiv label. The EP’s namesake, ‘Romanian Deadlift’ is a functional track, one that might carry the weight of a lagging crowd three hours into a set. As the most straightforward on the record, it’s a percussive stomper with an ever-changing, mutating synth and roiling hi-hats.

‘Exuberant Gambit’ is a more intriguing, ambitious affair. After a short intro of crushed, broken beats and a hyperactive vocal sample, bouncing marble-like clicks give way to helter-skelter, kick-fuelled polyrhythms. The track finishes on a more ethereal note; sparse, detuned bells give the record room to breathe. ‘Mae Geri’ is the warmest of the record; a rolling groover with leisurely muffled loops, off-kilter synths give the track an almost funky aspect. Releasing a club-oriented album so soon after an ambient project is audacious, but if there’s anyone to pull it off, Nicolae is one to do it.



‘SPORTIV005’ by Cosmin TRG is out now – buy here.