Drenched in technicolour nostalgia, ‘Iteration‘ — the long-awaited sophomore Com Truise LP — represents a stellar conclusion to the titular character’s galactic travels six years after their inception. Armed with glimmering keys and cosmic beats, Seth Haley offers a polished, cinematic narrative set to enchant listeners. Forget chilled-out synth-wave, because this is stargaze.
Largely devoid of both lyrics and vocal samples, the album relies instead upon conjuring feelings to convey its narrative. Therefore, the record defies straightforward evaluation. Instead, envision an alternate, retro-futuristic reality wherein cybernauts, humanoids, and a menagerie of unfamiliar beings groove alongside one another across the interstellar dance scene. Such is the impression that ‘Iteration’ evokes throughout its twelve tracks. While a cursory listen suggests that the record lacks significant variety, a quality set of headphones reveals its nuances.
On ‘Vacuume’, breathy vocals, oscillating synths, and shimmering keys that splash playfully over pulsing waves of bass. During ‘Dryswch’, echoed keys pierce a soundscape inundated by alien communications, reverb-heavy beats, and textures recalling a spacecraft’s landing procedure. Elsewhere, the neon-dream ‘Ephemeron’ degrades into cryostasis, as though warped by relativity. Later, the frenetic ‘Syrthio’ and funk-fueled ‘Memory’ inspire fantastic thoughts of treks through hyperspace. Multiple listens turn up additional surprises on each track, encouraging sonic explorers to tease through its refined layers.
When approaching ‘Iteration’, and Haley‘s music in general, it is crucial that listeners understand two things. First, the music does not necessarily require supplementary visuals to be appreciated, but they do significantly contribute to an overall aesthetic. That is to say, one ought to see Haley live to holistically evaluate the work. Second, set and setting are essential to engaging with the album on its own terms. As 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.” Thus, listeners should establish cinematic life-scenes for themselves, using the album — preferably on cassette — as a backdrop. Overall, if one considers these listening guidelines, ‘Iteration’ proves relentlessly captivating, the pinnacle of Haley‘s career.
Com Truise will tour Europe in support of ‘Iteration’:
Oct. 26: Bucharest, Romania — Control Club
Oct. 27: Milan, Italy — Magnolia
Oct. 28: Rome, Italy — Ex Dogana
Oct. 30: Oslo, Norway — Parkteatret
Oct. 31: Bergen, Norway — Landmark
Nov. 2: Glasgow, UK — Stereo
Nov. 4: Dublin, UK — Button Factory
Nov. 7: Bristol, UK — Fleece
Nov. 8: London, UK — Oval Space
‘Iteration’ is out June 16 via Ghostly.