Release Date: May 14, 2013
Record label: 50 Weapons
Gordian's press release, or rather Cosmin Nicolae's own introduction to the record, is about as illuminating as a matchstick without a strike surface. It dangles clues, but none seem to link up or even allude to anything conclusive. It simultaneously hints at the past and future, of myth and the modern world, while also claiming to be chiefly concerned with a fairly arbitrary list of issues.
Turn him to any cause of policy,The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,The air, a charter’d libertine, is still.– Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47 For those unfamiliar with the legend of the Gordian knot, it’s one so intricately tied that it is essentially impossible to untangle — a somewhat intractable problem. Alexander The Great, when told that whomever untied the knot would rule all of Asia, supposedly promptly sliced the attached string to render the knot itself useless — hence the expression “to cut the Gordian knot” — to think outside the box, to render arbitrary assumptions useless.
Bass stalwart Cosmin TRG is a Romanian ex-pat now living in Berlin, working as a touring DJ and producer. TRG's abstractions of windy and weird techno are pulled towards career high realizations on second full-length Gordian. The considerable groove found in each song often becomes somewhat clouded by gently saturated noise, as in "Divided by Design" or interlude "Epsilon, Epsilon." Similarly, the distant introductions of numerous samples, as in "New Structures for Loving," evoke impossible sounds collected from a dream of dripping machinery.
Bass music auteurs with wide-ranging interests have become more common in recent years, with up-and-comers routinely crossing over to deep house, tech house, classic techno or spaces in between. It's at the point where every DJ set and label sampler is like a bench stocked deep with utility players. Cosmin TRG (nee Cosmin Nicolae) is one rangy infielder among many, and it might be worth wondering how many of the converts he won over with his early-career dubstep sides or his 2010 breakthrough future garage single “See Other People/Groove Control” stuck around with him when his style-hopping moved further afield.