Com Truise - Persuasion System - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Com Truise - Persuasion System

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2019-05-17
Com Truise - Persuasion System
Com Truise - Persuasion System

Ah, Com Truise. Rarely has a musical project with such a goofy name spawned so much great music. Prolific mastermind Seth Haley, who has dropped three albums, including 2017's excellent Iteration, and four EPs under the name in the last decade or so, has also released sets under numerous aliases. Persuasion System finds him continuing along his now well-worn path, to mostly good effect. Once again, he's managed to craft a solid album, loaded with intricate instrumentation, clever production trickery, and futuristic fun. I love when a musician can walk the line between ambient and active, which Haley has done consistently for a decade now. As usual, Haley builds tunes that are by turn mechanistic, organic, and fractured.

The album does start slowly, with the uninspired, almost dirgelike hum of 'Worldline'. This intro song was decent the first time I heard it, but it's become less tolerable with each successive listen. Luckily it's only two minutes long and gets out of the way for the good stuff in short order. The title track follows it up with a ghostly pad that would fit on a Boards of Canada album, but the quirky synths and banging beats pull it into Com Truise's unique territory soon enough. This tune feels like a warm-up and would have worked perfectly as the opener. A slow build up and dissolve lulls you before an awesomely retrofuturistic synth shows up halfway through and takes it to the next level.

'Kontex' works in the same way, with a slightly creepy, broken music box piano lead that's shoved aside by a pair of forceful synths, one glistening and bright, the other dingy and dark, making it a real highlight. 'Existence Schematic' is much brighter, stomping along in good spirits while surfing synth waves. But it's followed up by dark twin 'Laconism', which seems to be the evil twist ending to the happy beginning of the previous song. It's as if 'Kontex' were split into two separate pieces with these two tracks.

While most of these tracks reuse the same audio building blocks, there are a few outliers. 'Gaussian' is ultra-ambient in the style of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, Volume II, with diaphanous, drifting pads. 'Ultrafiche of You' works with slower, echoing backgrounds before bringing in the standard lead synths and ricocheting percussion.

Still, Persuasion System is very good initially but ends up sounding a little repetitive. The primary variation to be found across songs is one of tone, with some songs quite upbeat while others drag you down. There are a few gems to be found here, but a handful of the tracks lack staying power because of their similarity, which is a shame because individually, most of the tracks are totally fine.

One last exception, surprisingly, is closer 'Departure', which is short and mellow, led by a filtered guitar that quietly dominates the song. I found myself thinking of this track over and over again when not listening, so it has the effect of redeeming the set, as it's the last thing you hear. I think Haley might need to shake things up a bit on his next attempt, as his wonderful groove is just beginning to wear into a rut. He's at his best when he's branching out from his safer, go-to sound.

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Com Truise - Persuasion System - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Com Truise - Iteration
  • 06/11/2017
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