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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/19/2012

Com Truise In Decay

It could never be argued that Com Truise (a.k.a. Seth Haley) lacks a distinct sound. The only thing that rivals the New Jersey producer's stylistic consistency is the apparent prolificacy with which he explores his '80s-obsessed, synth-centric world. Taking those factors into account helps make sense of why Ghostly would release a record of Haley's old demos and unreleased tracks barely a year after dropping his debut LP (not to mention the various EPs, reissues, and what not that followed); the guy just has so much of the stuff, and hey, if you're into the neon-hued space jams on Galactic Melt, chances are you'll dig just about everything else bearing the Com Truise name. But even though In Decay is very much a collection of largely run-of-the-mill tunes lifted from Hayley's backup hard drive, dusted off with a crisp remastering, and wrapped up in a nice-looking package for the fanboys, its tracklist hints at a depth hitherto unfamiliar to the "official" Com Truise discography.

As stated before, anyone who even marginally liked Galactic Melt will find plenty to enjoy here, as In Decay features what sounds like lo-fi incarnations of the tracks on Com Truise's debut album. The woozy synth pads of "Controlpop" and "Smily Cyclops" are dead ringers for those heard on "Hyperlips" and "Air Cal"; "VHS Sex"'s massive bass tone matches the gnarled timbres at the core of "Colorvision," "Stop," and "Video Arkade," to name a few; there's really no need to compare any of Com Truise's beats—all of his hyper-compressed, gated-reverb drums sound practically the same. Only the somewhat grittier production style of In Decay seems to give these all-too-familiar productions their edge, for what it's worth.

What works toward making In Decay more than just a novelty record for Com Truise completists is the small handful of anomalies within its 13 offerings, songs which are vaguely experimental in comparison to the producer's usual output. Though it still boasts smashing electro beats and lazer synths, "Yxes" exhibits Haley trying his hand at more minimal arrangements, and "Data Kiss" is a warbling alien ballad with the kinds of Boards of Canada-esque atmospheres he'd do well to dive further into. On "Alfa Beach" and "Dreambender," Com Truise uses a bit of live bass playing—an element found on maybe only two other cuts in his discography—to give the songs a more human feel, which effectively makes them two of the collection's most interesting tracks. Moments of worthwhile nostalgia notwithstanding, In Decay solidifies that it would be in Hayley's best interest to dabble more in diversity when he focuses once again on creating new material.

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