Thursday, 20 February 2014

Com Truise - Wave 1


When someone mentions the words 'anlogue' or 'retro' or even the vast, expansive denoting of 'the 80's' in its electronic/synth amassing, I myself am not particularly confined to think solely on genres such as chillwave as the go-to for an 80's nostalgia trip. Sure that field does epitomize the analogous, youthful slur of past times and musical fascinations. But at the same time unfotunately, I'm also inclined to associate it with countless more composition enthusiasts resorting to simply googling 'awesome VSTs' and sticking with what they find for their 'research' and idea-generation. Sure, advancing technology helps, but the 80's - in the context of composition - were about way more than just effect processing that merely alludes to more infectuous qualites in the lesser quality, per se. It's more about the at-the-time experiences with technology just, at the time, was just about ready to accept its merely part of a generation status; a stepping stone on a much greater path to some higher plain of artificial replicance. Com Truise takes to the past in more than just this narrow-minded view that a lack of clarity or otherwise reducing of it, defines all. For a time when technicolor was still considered a privillige and sci-fi was only just still in hasn't-really-aged-well territory, New Jersey-born Seth Haley sees the 80's in all its RGB-lit cultural and communicative scope as he does too the tonal and emotive equivalents. 

With 2011's Galactic Melt, though it did have the tag chillwave brandished across its primary-colour slab of visage - the very same tag that genre forefathers Washed Out & Neon Indian mastered with impeccable and awe-struck ease on debut - Com Truise's sound felt far more like a 'present day' sound borrowing from the past rather than the other way round; viscous synthesizers and influences ranging from hip-hop to IDM present in the structures and deliveries, if not within the overriding quirkiness to Haley's electronic playfulness. We're still waiting on a follow-up LP to address any and all questions as to where Truise goes from here, but with Wave 1 - a likely pit-stop on Haley's stellar reverse voyage into the past - there is thankfully signs that while clearly avid in his love for the chunky, brick-heavy sounds of 80's technology, Com Truise is - like so many of late - inspired by other genres lying in this same era to further stretch a given nostalgia trip into a full-blown nostalgia vacation. Wasat's two minute prelude finds Haley immediately incorporate all the fatty excess of his debut LP via engrossing synthesizers that flow nicely into the track's disco-orientated introduction. Thus, Mind lands us comfortably in Com Truise's new-found take of these advents of a once new-found synergy with the dancefloor - implementing them squarely into his palette of stampeding drumbeats and colouful synth hooks darting side to side, but more importantly, brimming with that same voyage of discovery.

But without question, Com Truise's most pinnacly-just recollect and epitomy of everything 80's - both in its melodic nostalgia as well as its liberty of emotion - comes when the voyage is less interstellar motionary and pure-and-simply body-motionar in the shape of liquid-funk, shoulder-bobber Declination which features Joel Ford on pitch-shifted, charm-offensive vocal duty. Not only is this an uncomprisngly rich fluidity in jabbing bass lines and percussion, but amidst the infectuous groove, Haley still finds the space and the room to indulge in a degree of star-gazing synth lines that at points sheen frostily in the backdrop and in others add even more melodic charm to Ford's in-and-out presence atop the rhythm. Subsonic likewise takes to emphasizing the more narrative qualities to analog sound - or rather, the analogous quality to past retro media - in a track that incorporates a lot of present-day electronica's love for glitchy, wonky pacing but places it in and around an analog synth lead that itself reminds me less of currently-trending sub-genres and more in line with something I'd hear on these very same 80's sci-fi flicks or documentaries concerning future technlogy, space or the mystery of other scientific interests. 

Much like 'wonky' leaders in Rustie to name but one fond stand-out, Com Truise's technical wizardry grows stronger in balancing the musical content it graces; the bass flickers and timbral changes on Valis Called (Control) shining light on Haley's production stand-point in achieving this specific two/three-decade old vibe without losing any of the [present day] slickness and clean-cut focus demanded by the track's beats. And with the self-titled Wave 1 sending off the EP in a similarly funk-laiden trip, as if from the stand-point of an old early-generation video game or such, the split between quirky synth composition and the more abstract soundscapes adding colour to the piece don't appear at all conflicting or at logger heads with each other. Thus, from the perspective of Wave 1 as an overall package - as what could be descrbed as Haley's true next-step in the Com Truise moniker - the introduction of similary past-decade sounds in the form of disco and funk here offer a producer who not only holds a fascination with nostalgic sound, but appears to treat it with both respect and a degree of mature venture without compromise. Should we find similar levels of self-advancement both sonically as well as contextually on the next full-length, we all might just have to dig out the old VHS' and flux our minds back to the days when quirky didn't by any stretch equate to uninended wrong-doing.
~Jordan Helm

7.8

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