Release Date: Jun 16, 2017
Record label: Ghostly International
It's been a long six years since electronica musician Seth Haley (aka Com Truise) has released anything new and, suffice to say, we're glad he's back. Nostalgic, dramatic and not exactly short on synth, Iteration is the kind of album necessary to help us battle through the rest of 2017. The shimmering sounds and blasting beats make you feel like you've fallen into the soundtrack to an eighties sci-fi movie which you kind of have, given that there's an intricate narrative behind the album, one crammed with space adventure, looming danger and far-flung planets.
Iteration is only the second proper full-length from Com Truise, and according to mastermind Seth Haley, it's the conclusion of the story line that began with 2011's Galactic Melt, involving a robot astronaut who falls in love while serving time on a battle mission. East Coast native Haley composed Iteration as he was settling into his new life in Los Angeles, and the album mirrors his own emotions and experiences as well as those of the Com Truise character. As with 2016 EP Silicon Tare, Iteration seems much clearer and more defined than the hazy, lo-fi synth funk of earlier Com Truise releases.
Although Seth Haley (aka Com Truise) hasn't released a proper full-length in six years, the synth master hasn't quite been dormant, releasing two well-received mini-LPs alongside a slew of remixes. But on his sophomore LP, Iteration, the Californian has demonstrated growth that only a musician with a decade of experience can accomplish. Though Haley's music still acts as a neon conduit to the '80s synth-wave scene, Iteration is chockfull of well-arranged and well-sequenced numbers.
Happily stuck somewhere in the 80s, Haley refuses to acknowledge the eulogy for classic synth sounds from iconic instruments such as the Yamaha DX7 or Ensoniq Mirage. Instead, he revels in them, often preferring slow moving funky basslines, arpegiated leads and thick virtual strings or pad sections over sounds invented in the last twenty years. It also appears, based on track titles which often have something to do with the systems of the natural world, that perhaps our space traveler is getting closer to home, seeing ahead of him a planet wrapped in shadow.