29 Sep 2017

Com Truise: "Iteration"

The king of dream synth lets his latest album fall to a slow-burning state
When I first heard Galactic Melt, I was sold. It was unlike anything I'd heard, taking the aesthetic of 80s nerd culture and forging it into something more modern and accessible. Daft Punk and likeminded artists seem like obvious contemporaries to draw comparisons to, but Com Truise did something completely different with the same source material by making it decisively less danceable and poppy, in a way staying a little more true to the retro style.

Through his next releases, the In Decay album of 2012 and his two EP's - Wave 1 and Silicon Tare - Seth Haley's style ironically didn't grow old, and without changing much of his minimalistic, repetitive neon-synth, his tunes stayed remarkably fresh, titillating the urge for 80s synth without going completely overboard. This show of restraint and more laid-back atmosphere is part of what sets Com Truise apart from most of the synthwave scene, where the reverence of the decade turns almost campy (but often in a good way, mind.)

"Com Truise's quirks and off-kilter synths are beginning to show their wear and tear,"

Iteration, his latest session, again teases with the same characteristic: Gently hissing keys, drums flashing in a circuit pattern, to the strong-willed throb of a crisp, synthetic bassline. But the retro-styled flare that once burned white hot is slowly burning to a fizzle. After hours upon hours of compositions, Com Truise's quirks and off-kilter synths are beginning to show their wear and tear, burning out much like the actual 80s.

It's not so much that Seth Haley is taking his music in a new direction with Iteration, and the problem isn't the lack of progression in style either. His latest opus shows the same personality traits that have long been his trademark. But the formula is growing a bit stale, and only few tracks stand out from the bright, optimistic neon soup. With time Com Truise's go-to presentation has lost a bit of its posh appearance and receded into a state where the music takes longer to fully bloom into fruition. I will most likely be coming back to Iteration for more chances - The album is incredibly far from terrible, mind you - at least just for old times sake. It is the first time I've been slightly disappointed by a Com Truise release. Let's hope the king will not yet have to abdicate.


Released in 2017 by Ghostly International


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