The Romanian-born, Berlin-based Cosmin TRG -- aka Cosmin Nicolae -- came to prominence with the first release for the fledgling dubstep label Hessle Audio in 2007. Growing up on a diet of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and Italo Disco, Nicolae first discovered contemporary electronic music from a cassette copy of Orbital's Snivilisation, and an art installation featuring music by Basic Channel and Jeff Mills furthered his exploration. With the music scene in Romania being dominated by Euro-Trance, Nicolae set about producing his own material and by 2006 was confident enough to send a demo to British dubstep pioneer David Kennedy (Ramadanman). Impressed by the sound, Kennedy and fellow DJs, Ben UFO, and Pangaea started Hessle Audio with TRG's Put You Down being the first release. A slew of 12"s for labels such as Tempa, NakedLunch, and Hotflush came throughout 2007 and 2008, and as Nicolae's production continued, his U.K. garage-influenced dubstep sound shifted, to include inspiration from house and techno.
In 2010, TRG became Cosmin TRG and with the name change came a change of sound. With the release of Tower Block on Hemlock Recordings in 2010, Nicolae's sound focused more on the 4/4 approach of techno but still kept the dub influences from his earlier work. A move to Berlin in 2010 saw him join Modeselektor's 50 Weapons label and in 2011 Nicolae released his debut album Simulat. The album's mix of icy techno, dub, and house fitted perfectly into the Berlin techno scene and saw Nicolae's DJing and production skills become sought after. Two years later he released his follow-up, 2013's Gordian. Pushing his sound further into the realms of techno, the album also drew inspiration from classic dance labels such as Warp Records. ~ Rich Wilson