Blog Archives

Com Truise – Existence Schematic [Epilepsy Warning]

For nearly a decade the story of Com Truise has relied on science fiction and abstract fact. Seth Haley’s singular style of melodic beat music subsists as hazy machinist nostalgia, a mainframe downloaded cosmology. Yet with each release, alongside sonic refinement, comes an increasingly visible vapor trail to Haley’s own ontology. His long-awaited 2017 LP Iteration brought to completion a conceptual space saga while also reflecting seismic life changes for the producer and designer. With mini-LP Persuasion System, Haley leaves the past narrative behind, settling into a new period marked by change — on this planet, in the present — putting forth his most grounded and visceral work to date.

The project began as an experiment. Haley switched digital audio workstations, rebuilt his palette of sounds, and tasked himself with simply trying it out. The exercise freed him of expectations and permitted a process that echoed the tones of more immediate external environments. A gravity had seeped in; resulting material shifts between bleakness and sublime suspense, awe at the expanse of existing, in looking back and letting go. “It’s a sort of sad smile and a wave goodbye but at the same time hello, a ‘welcome to your life’ moment,” Haley says. Take the storm pattern sequence from “Gaussian” to “Ultrafiche of You”: a queasy, contemplative vignette rests on a single soft-synth cloud before the latter’s percussion ripples across the sky. With trademark stutters and swells, the composition conjures the sensation of searching in the afterglow. “It’s a love song, and I don’t write many of those.”

That duality — melancholy + optimism, then + now — permeates this widescreen collection. “Existence Schematic” takes flight at night, “looking down at the landscape,” explains Haley, “seeing the lights in a schematic sort of way, wondering who or what is looking back up at me wondering the same things I am, the impact of a single existence, the end, the beginning, where it’s gone and going.” These are observations from this existential Persuasion System, and Haley hopes the music yields more, for others, that listeners may search for their own tension and release.

Video: Com Truise – Propagation

Ahead of his UK tour this November, Com Truise – aka Seth Haley – shares the music video for the song “Propagation”, taken from his new album ‘Iteration’ which is out now via Ghostly International.

The video is a Black Mirror meets The Stepford Wives piece of cinema that helps to visualize the song in a uniquely modern way. It touches on our increasingly dependent relationship with technology and the consequential disconnect with humanity.

Speaking on the track, Haley says; “Propagation, as defined, is the proliferation of a new concept or idea. in the context of “Iteration”, it’s the main character’s creation of new conceptual selves, new identities to escape oppression, and disbursing those ideas through the space narrative. It’s a wistful space ballad…. ”

Directors Karrie Crouse and Will Joines commented: “Com Truise’s music is so strikingly cinematic; it felt like the images of this woman trapped in her glass cage, and her growing unease, were conjured directly from the song. We decided to avoid the music video tropes of fast cutting, and coverage from a thousand angles, opting instead for a series of filmic tableaus that would cycle, allowing the audience to breathe with each image, dread seeping into the most domestic of scenes. We used creeping zooms to hold tension, building the energy and building the energy until…both the song and our heroine break.”

“Propogation” is taken from the album ‘Iteration’, released on Ghostly International earlier this year. It’s on Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes and the Com Truise online store.

COM TRUISE – Isostasy

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Last month Com Truise – aka Seth Haley – announced Iteration, his first new album in 6 years, which will be released on June 16th via Ghostly International.

Today, along with a string of new UK & European live date announcements, he follows previously shared single “Memory,” a pop-inflected, futuristic synth-driven cut, with his second single “Isostasy.” As its name implies, the track has a spaciousness to it, as it seemingly floats through the sonic world Com Truise has built over the years.

Hear “Isostasy” here:

“Repetition is a form of change,” reads one of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. Seth Haley knows the concept well, and his style of technicolour synth-wave takes the mantra as a challenge–how much emotion can one man convey through his machines? Six years ago, Galactic Melt introduced space traveler Com Truise and his journey through far-flung galaxies, before mini-epics Wave 1 and Silicon Tare expanded the story in further cosmic detail. And now Iteration concludes this particular sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Haley’s music has ever sounded.

At the album’s heart is an elaborate narrative, one full of longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph. Iteration illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his alien love escape its clutches to live in peace. Album opener “…Of Your Fake Dimension” launches the interstellar drama with its anthemic swells and widescreen sound design, before lovesick songs like “Dryswch” and “Propagation” outline scenes wrought with cybernetic pathos. In “Isostasy”, the synaesthetic quality of Haley’s compositions is presented in ultra-high-definition. Later, the frantic rhythms of “Syrthio” conjure images of panicked flight, as Haley’s gorgeous synth melodies gild the action in quiet heartbreak. Then comes the resounding “When Will You Find The Limit…”, when Iteration’s pain and sadness finds liberation in the vast unknown. The closing title track ends it all in a gush of majestic revelry.

So goes the winding story that Iteration tells, and yet there’s more behind its telling. “I try hard not to write from my personal life, but it’s inevitably going to seep into the music,” Haley explains. “It’s basically like I’m scoring this film in my head, but that film I’m scoring is also somehow my life.” There are glimpses of the difficult time the East Coast native spent adjusting to a new life in Los Angeles, fighting homesickness and burnout while also touring the world. It was a time full of uncertainty, transition, and self-realization. After a year and a half of living in California, Haley finally recaptured his creativity by finding new excitement in his work. “I put more air, more breathing room in the music—that was the big change,” he says. And once that clicked, the album quickly materialized.

Such a clear refinement of the Com Truise sound took time to develop, but Iteration is well worth the patience and perseverance it cost. Some of Haley’s smartest, catchiest work is here, from the weightless pop heights of “Memory” to “Ternary”‘s lush synth-funk. A song like “Vacuume” somehow manages to balance massive bass swells and punishing drums with stuttering angelic gasps, and “Usurper” gracefully pairs subtle poignant melodies with uplifting dance beats.

“For me, it feels like change,” Haley says of his second album, and yes, this is Com Truise like never before. By embracing the music’s inherent nature and peerless qualities, Iteration finds new avenues of expression in its vivid, familiar surroundings.

Com Truise – Silicon Tare EP

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Silicon Tare is the third EP from Com Truise on Ghostly International.

On Silicon Tare, the sci-fi story that Seth Haley, who records as Com Truise, began on the Galactic Melt LP and continued on the Wave 1 EP takes a dark turn. At the conclusion of Wave 1, the protagonist, Earth’s first synthetic astronaut, successfully makes contact with the far-off Wave 1 colony but, once he does, things get fuzzy. He falls in love; there is a war coming. A story that began in hope and dreams of discovery ends on an uncertain note. Change is in the air.

It’s evident Haley’s style has matured since 2010’s Cyanide Sisters. Sisters wonderfully warped sonics could have been the sound of broken VCRs spinning analog tapes, all of them singing in unison. His 2011 full-length Galactic Melt was rich and expansive, full of slowly-coasting synths, melodies that wriggled and popped, and masterfully-controlled rhythms. Since then, Haley’s sound and production techniques have progressed, becoming wider and fuller — high definition 3D madness. His always-cinematic signature sound and 4/4 kick drum patterns are present, of course, but the dynamics and tempos are increasingly more colorful and varied.

Silicon Tare opens with a skating sheet of synthesizer before easing into a steady, walloping beat. It doesn’t stay there for long: halfway through, the lights come up, and synth notes crackle across the sky. “Sunspot” is a departure–its soft-pink tone, synthetic slap bass and quasi-808 percussion recalls the edgier end of ‘80s pop. And he pushes the boundaries even further on “Forgive,” a big, booming number with fat streaks of synth and a gleefully hectic rhythm track that stops, starts and sputters over and over again.

Silicon Tare moves Haley and the fictional Com Truise even deeper into the cosmos, discovering new lands along the way and offering a glimpse of where he may travel in the future. And if the characters at the center of his ongoing story may be in peril, Haley himself is in control.

Silicon Tare sets the stage for the final chapter in Haley’s Com Truise saga, which will be the first official follow-up to Galactic Melt. It’s not only the perfect prelude to that finale, but the perfect representation of Haley’s ever-expanding universe of sound.

Com Truise – Silicon Tare EP

comtruise.jpg

Silicon Tare is the third EP from Com Truise on Ghostly International.

On Silicon Tare, the sci-fi story that Seth Haley, who records as Com Truise, began on the Galactic Melt LP and continued on the Wave 1 EP takes a dark turn. At the conclusion of Wave 1, the protagonist, Earth’s first synthetic astronaut, successfully makes contact with the far-off Wave 1 colony but, once he does, things get fuzzy. He falls in love; there is a war coming. A story that began in hope and dreams of discovery ends on an uncertain note. Change is in the air.

It’s evident Haley’s style has matured since 2010’s Cyanide Sisters. Sisters wonderfully warped sonics could have been the sound of broken VCRs spinning analog tapes, all of them singing in unison. His 2011 full-length Galactic Melt was rich and expansive, full of slowly-coasting synths, melodies that wriggled and popped, and masterfully-controlled rhythms. Since then, Haley’s sound and production techniques have progressed, becoming wider and fuller — high definition 3D madness. His always-cinematic signature sound and 4/4 kick drum patterns are present, of course, but the dynamics and tempos are increasingly more colorful and varied.

Silicon Tare opens with a skating sheet of synthesizer before easing into a steady, walloping beat. It doesn’t stay there for long: halfway through, the lights come up, and synth notes crackle across the sky. “Sunspot” is a departure–its soft-pink tone, synthetic slap bass and quasi-808 percussion recalls the edgier end of ‘80s pop. And he pushes the boundaries even further on “Forgive,” a big, booming number with fat streaks of synth and a gleefully hectic rhythm track that stops, starts and sputters over and over again.

Silicon Tare moves Haley and the fictional Com Truise even deeper into the cosmos, discovering new lands along the way and offering a glimpse of where he may travel in the future. And if the characters at the center of his ongoing story may be in peril, Haley himself is in control.

Silicon Tare sets the stage for the final chapter in Haley’s Com Truise saga, which will be the first official follow-up to Galactic Melt. It’s not only the perfect prelude to that finale, but the perfect representation of Haley’s ever-expanding universe of sound.

Bear Hands – Agora (Com Truise Remix)

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Below, you can stream the great Com Truise‘s remix of Brooklyn-based quartet Bear Hands new single “Agora”. The original track is off the band’s latest album Distraction, out now on Cantora. The band has had an exciting year since its release, playing Coachella, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Made in America, and Life is Beautiful. In addition to the festival dates, the band has been relentlessly touring the US, and are in the midst of a headlining tour now (dates).

Tycho – Awake (Com Truise Remix)

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Following the release of his Awake LP via Ghostly in March, Tycho unveiled a new remix of the album title track fellow Ghostly affiliate Com Truise. Check it out below.

Video: Com Truise – Subsonic

Synth wizard Seth Haley, a.k.a. Com Truise has shared a sci-fi inspired video for his equally spacey "Subsonic" single, taken from his recent Wave-1 EP on Ghostly. Directed by Hans Lo.

"Everyone’s favorite robotic astronaut continues his journey into the furthest reaches of space."


Weeknight – Dark Light (Com Truise Remix)

Synth maestro Com Truise has shared a brand-new remix for Weeknight‘s "Dark Light", taken from the NYC duo’s upcoming Post-Everything LP for Candian label Artifica. Download for free here. Com Truise’s Wave 1 is out next week on Ghostly.

Com Truise – Wave 1

East Coast producer Seth Haley, a.k.a. Com Truise, will release a new seven-track EP on February 18 via Ghostly. That will be the first record of completely brand-new material to surface from the artist since his 2011 debut LP. Above, you can stream the first taste, the synthy "Wave 1".