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Com Truise: Cyanide Sisters

Dominic Umile

Com Truise is never far from a long-discontinued synthesizer or a 1980s VHS tape.

Com Truise

Cyanide Sisters

Label website:
Label: Ghostly International
US Release Date: 2011-01-25
UK Release Date: 2011-01-25
Artist website

It takes some convincing to fully understand that Cyanide Sisters is, in fact, not a patchwork of film score music circa 1987. Issued for free via AMDISCS in 2010, Ghostly International has revisited and expanded Com Truise's debut, lengthening it with a handful of bonus tracks that link nicely to the original blueprint for the EP.

Princeton, NJ producer Seth "Com Truise" Haley has recorded electronic music under more than one alias, and his work as Airliner is especially worth a listen. His wordless, keyboard-heavy beats suggest that he lives close enough to Princeton Record Exchange to pounce on any synth-centric library LPs that make their way into town. When he uploaded "Tripyra" to his Web site for the taking last summer, Haley backed it with an equally melancholy new-wave ode called "Pyragony". Both are on Cyanide Sisters, a collection of gloopy, arcade-game funk that moves at half speed. "Tripyra" slumps a lot like Boards of Canada's "Roygbiv" does, and it seems to have been tracked with the Warp Records luminaries in mind. Haley ran the drums through loads of reverb and padded the prominent, rubbery analog leads with subtle swells and an occasional floating counter-melody. It's easy to associate his work with well-known techno or the recent onslaught of hazy beat tapes, but Haley isn't recreating, nor is he merely lacing MPC drum patterns with random samples for the purposes of getting baked and nodding off.

Stuttering vocal loops and abrupt IDM edits make an appearance on the tracks "Iwywaw" and "Slow Peels", and connecting the dots between Haley's EP and UK producer Tropics or Toro Y Moi's Causers of This is easy in places. However, Haley's work is sluggish and weird. Cyanide Sisters definitely harbors enough soft-focus, blurring textures to "evoke shorelines and sandcastles for some listeners ("Chilled to Spill": How the Oil Spill Ruined Chillwave's Summer Vacation")", but he builds quirky musical themes that are gradually introduced on each track. Lumbering progressions on the EP are guided away from quick characterizations toward where they eventually nest: a nostalgic midway point between spacey funk and techno. Cyanide Sisters is both lethargic and bubbling over, with more than a nod to 1980s film music in the brew.


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