By Ben Magana
Ever since Seth Haley released his first album, 2011’s Galactic Melt under the Com Truise moniker, there has been a dramatic shake-up in humanity in general, particularly in the mid-decade. When Galactic Melt was released, a nascent social expressive movement known widely as Vaporwave was just taking off and Com Truise seemed to belong in the increasingly 90’s nostalgia dependent and lo-fi/low-brow concept altogether. Haley revealed that Com Truise is in fact a character who specialized in intergalactic voyages, and it’s in his music that this story has been recorded. In basic terms, the musical aspect of 2011’s Vaporwave was mostly either chopped/screwed samples of 80’s synthpop or analog-sounding compositions that seemed empty of human condition as a whole. Com Truise represented, unwittingly according to Haley, a popular strain of the second type of the genre’s then genesis. Nonetheless, Galactic Melt was a syncopated cruise into an electro haven that represented a time where darkness attracted the apparent nothingness of the first few years of the current decade and never since has it been directly compared to the Vaporwave art form it was later classified as.
Six years ahead and oh fuck has the world changed. Needless to say, the once-alienating robotic sounds that make for each thread of Com Truise’s psychedelic techno have become soothing and welcoming. The twelve tracks that form Iteration, his second proper album release that hit streaming sites worldwide June 16, have an elastic empathy about them, perhaps nodding to a more human-friendly Artificial Intelligence in a nearer-than-we-thought future. As it often occurs with instrumental three-minute pop songs that transcend monotonic electronica and truly engages the listener in manners not unlike on what’s going on in the background of some of hip-hop’s up and coming artists such as Playboi Carti for example, who on his eponymous release this year proved that its style now is indebted to this strain of synthesized melodies over fragmented Techno glitches and blurry vocoder voices over in the distance.
Haley has stated in interviews across 2017 that this album mostly represents his move to Los Angeles last year, all the changes this move meant to his music (in his case, the Com Truise astronaut escapes a certain planet with his girlfriend astronaut and live a happily ever after). This means Iteration is the last Com Truise album we are going to get from Seth Haley, which makes the machinery and the hypnotic sonic fractals that make this album all the more poignant and rousing. While not straying far from his debut’s electro sails into a dark litmus that, as it evolved into Iteration and its content, in the end, it is safe to say that Com Truise is our time’s smooth jazz, the languishing escapism that sometimes not even hip-hop has managed to encapsulate as finely.