In Decay provides a fascinating alternative routemap for the idiosyncratic journeys of New Jersey producer Seth Haley — aka Com Truise — through the history of electronic music. A compilation of unreleased, early recordings, In Decay encompasses 13 tracks that have previously been either only available as demos online or are entirely unheard tracks dating from before Haley's official releases — his debut Cyanide Sisters EP, its follow-up full-length Galactic Melt, and last year's Fairlight EP.
While the '80s-influenced synth sounds, rubbery basslines and sci-fi flavors that inform Haley's later work are in full effect here, they're assembled in manners different enough to make this both a fine record in its own right, and also a fascinating insight into the development of the distinctive Com Truise sound. It also finds the producer exploring a number of facets of that sound, from 8-bit influenced experimentalism to distinctly danceable beats — often within the confines of the same track.
"Controlpop", for instance, announces itself with an intro that sounds like a Commodore 64 being hit with a hammer, but resolves into slow liquid synthfunk that recalls Galactic Melt highlights like "VHS Sex" and "Flightwave." Its slow-burning dance vibe is shared by several other tracks — "Colorvision" and "Yxes", amongst others — while elsewhere, Haley drops the tempo and channels the psychedelic cosmic meanderings of forebears like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh. "Dreambender" sounds like it should be soundtracking a voyage into uncharted digital innerspace, while "Video Arkade" cruises along on a woozy rising-and-falling synthline that's like drifting on some sort of virtual reality rollercoaster. Like all Haley's work, it's like stepping into a strange, digital parallel world — a place constructed out of sounds both immediately familiar and yet somehow rendered thoroughly fresh, and a place that's worth staying for quite some time.