om Truise is the nom de guerre of producer and designer Seth Haley, born-and-raised in upstate New York and currently working out of Los Angeles. His synth- and sci-fi-obsessed records are as infectious as they are expansive. From 2011’s Galactic Melt LP to its long-awaited follow-up, Iteration, Com Truise has refined his singular style of melodic beat music. Each piece ties together his ideas of “synth-wave” and “slow-motion funk” amidst a glowing backdrop of rich, nostalgic pathos.
Haleys been making music for over 15 years, dabbling as a DJ and with a number of aliases before locking into Com Truise. Though undoubtedly influenced by his parents’ record collections and old, faded product design, the Com Truise project doesn’t only pull from the past. Hints of Joy Division, New Order, and Cocteau Twins bubble up in every prismatic piece, but it’s as if they’re processed through a waterlogged game consolewarped, cybernetic, and high-definition. Somehow, Com Truise sounds both familiar and uncanny, and always beautifully handmade.
The first Com Truise release was the Cyanide Sisters EP, where mellow zone-outs were juxtaposed
with IDM bangers and bumpy, trippy synth-funk. Once Haley joined the Ghostly roster, his tale of the character “Com Truise”, the first robot astronaut, took flight on his debut album, the critically acclaimed Galactic Melt. Multiple EPs and 2012’s In Decay, a collection of B-sides and rarities, expanded the backstory and narrative, taking the AI protagonist through unknown galaxies and war-torn planets. He even finds love and wrestles with heartbreakof course, only in the ways a sophisticated android can.
Six years after this saga began, Iteration finally wraps up Haley’s sprawling narrative, doing so with the most refined music of his career. The album illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his love escape its clutches to live in peace. It’s also the most personal record Haley has written to date, as the story mirrors his personal struggles of moving across the country and overcoming creative burnout. But Iteration is ultimately a story of triumph and self-realization, told by the singular, emotionally resonant sound of a man and his machines.