Seth Haley, aka Com Truise, only released his debut full-length, Galactic Melt in 2011, yet he is already dropping a collection of early demos and other unheard tracks. While it seems a bit early for this kind of release, Haley actually makes it work quite nicely. The 13 tracks that make up In Decay fit well in his catalog, drawing inspiration from the 1980s and being played exclusively on synthesizers.
While all the tracks predate his other releases, they don’t sound like a rookie getting his chops together; they show you how good Haley was before anybody knew to ask. Fittingly, the record begins with “Open,” and the sounds are nothing but that. The large, spacious chords that begin the album prepare the listener for the 55-minute onslaught of dreamy, futuristic, cyborg music. The closing track, again appropriately titled, “Closed,” is a solid final statement, making it seem like this material was made like an actual album. If I hadn’t known that this wasn’t a new album, it would be impossible to tell.
The disc almost seems like an accidental double album. The first half, until the tension-building “Stop,” is slow, quietly building with epic airy chords. However, once “Klymaxx” hits, we are in for something different. In what could be called the chorus section, the synths get catchier, livelier and bigger. The tracks take a turn from dreamy, chill pop toward large anthemic dance numbers from outer space. This is the kind of stuff martians dance to. Haley describes his own music as “mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk,” and he is actually pretty spot-on. Like anything he releases, the best word to describe this stuff is lush. The synths overlap to form enormous soundscapes but stay active enough to keep anyone’s attention, and keep them dancing.
It might be early, maybe even a bit cocky, to release an album like this so soon in his career. But unlike many rare demos that are only appealing to diehard fans, this collection is just as satisfying and cohesive as a proper sophomore album.