Iteration by Com TruiseRelease date: June 15, 2017
Label: Ghostly International
Iteration is Com Truise‘s first full-length album in six years and it is everything fans could have hoped for. In 2011 Seth Haley (AKA Com Truise) released In Decay, an album that in many ways set the standard for IDM synthwave. It managed to blend the detached wavy beauty of Boards of Canada with the plodding robotic obtuse danceability of French housers like Daft Punk or Kavinski. It did so with intricate breaks and icy analog sounds that made the effort far more than the sum of its influences. Fast forward to 2017’s Iteration: the title is apt in that the record evolves little in style. However, it is evident that Haley is maturing in command of his craft. The overall effort is more streamlined and consistent, full of wonderfully elegant soundscapes and poignant rhythmic intricacy. It’s his best work since In Decay.
Both his previous full-length records, In Decay and Galactic Melt, had stand out tracks (‘Yxxes’ and ‘VHS Sex’). Iteration is less about hit singles and more about an album experience. If you push play during a party and walk away you’d get no complaints as the album is consistently listenable. However, ‘Dryswch’ and ‘Isostasy’ do seem to steal the show. ‘Isostacy’ is an especially indulgent Barry White inspired blanket of sex, with two-chord sub-bass line that oozes warmly under an eclectic collection of bleeps, happy synth tones, and a slow beat. The song would be a perfect remix template for dreamy disco noir artists like Glass Candy (Johnny Jewel – if you are reading this – please get together with Ida No again and make it happen!!).
During Com Truise’s hiatus from full length albums he released two EP’s that took him further into the direction of club music. During the period, he also remixed many big-name artists like Deftones or Deadmouse, although you’d hardly know most of these songs were remixes, since they sound decidedly like Com Truise originals and nothing else. Iteration marks a solid step back to IDM. The music lacks the predictability of most electronica and contains a fair amount of experimentation and musical diatribes, albeit with very little seeming effort. It all fits, and the surprises are generally welcomed. Although danceable, this music is better appraised with full attention.
Existing fans should be very happy with this release. New listeners should be impressed with Haley’s ability to put together highly intricate musical collages and attention to sound quality.