Com Truise takes yesterday’s smooth sounds and adds bumps.
On Wednesday night at the Black Cat’s Backstage, Syracuse, New York based producer, Seth Haley, performed a 45-minute set of jittery and funky, but vaguely relaxing electronic music. Using a laptop computer and a couple of synthesizers, he dialed in tunes from his debut LP, Galactic Melt, in front of a room crowded with nodding heads. Live, Haley is accompanied by a flesh-and-bone drummer, adding some physical heft to ethereal tunes like “VHS Sex” and “Broken Date.”
Haley’s music is retro-futuristic – the sound of tomorrow, as it was perceived when “Knight Rider” was on prime time. He uses vintage synthesizers to create lush, luxuriant, music that is equally suited to the dance club and the headphone zone-out. When “Risky Business” gets a re-make treatment, he’ll be first in line to write the soundtrack.
Com Truise slots in with an increasingly populous community of ’80s revivalists – including chill-wave bands (basically the “Breakfast Club” soundtrack in fuzzy fidelity), electro-funk reconstructionists like Dam Funk, and synth-pop nostalgia acts like Cut Copy.
But Haley’s tunes aren’t total throwbacks. He applies vintage technology to recent motifs in electronic music – stuttering rhythms, sub-bass wobbles, and ambient drones. Chronologically speaking, his melodies are out of synch with his instruments. Frequently, “Galactic Melt” sounds like German new age gurus Tangerine Dream, had the group come up on hip-hop, rather than classical music.
Haley’s music is tried-and-true record nerd fare, jumbling together three decades worth of trends. But Wednesday night’s crowd seemed younger, groovier, and more likely to have a few episodes of “Jersey Shore” back home on the DVR. They dutifully bobbed and swayed along with the thumping bass. And even though Haley was not the headliner (he was supporting falsetto crooner, Active Child), they cheered him back for an encore.