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Com Truise - Iteration (June 16th 2017)

comtruise synthwave

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#26 fumi

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:54 AM

 

I listened to this three or four times today. It's Tycho all over again (on Ghostly too).

After the second or third track, I struggle to tell one piece from the next. Very disappointing album.


"Usurper" is the standout track off this album for me but it's track 9.

The thing about Com Truise and similarly distinct artists sound wise (Tycho, Lone, <insert artist you feel is overrated here> ) is that there is always at least one or two songs on each of their releases is objectively good and/or catchy AND largely owes that appeal to their timbre of sounds. For example I never gave Com Truise a chance for the longest time until I heard "Brokendate" on a college station and was absolutely obsessed with it. It's just a damn good song, and one where his choice of instrumentation really shines.

Likewise there are artists I really love that I must admit have a pretty locked down production method. Like classic 70s and 80s era dub music, I could listen to that shit all day forever and never get sick of it but it is extremely formulaic. Plenty of sample-based music (vaporwave is a good example or artists like VHS Head or 1991) or genre-defined music (black metal) falls in this camp too, even the best artists are actually quite creative and adventurous in their scope of work. To an outsider it all sounds the same.

The tricky thing, and what makes artists like Com Truise endless fodder for discussion, is that he's a talented producer who undeniably sticks with a comfort zone in terms of a genre and in this case probably even certain presets on specific instruments. The inverse of this is artists, especially pop and rock artists, who use all sorts of instruments or genres as a palette, but stick with the same formula composition wise: same keys, same song structures, etc. This goes for critically acclaimed folks too: you can tell a David Byrne, Bjork, or Tom Yorke song pretty easily.

The other end of the spectrum is too much variation: some artists never really break into bigger audiences or appreciation because their music is so diverse. It's also why so many decide to spawn multiple monikers or projects. Think of all the aliases of Luke Vibert and Mark Pritchard. The balance seems to be to hone into a style that is unique but not limiting: a lot of the artists we all love - Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, and even BoC: they've all progressed and expanded their musical visions while still being very distinct and recognizable. It's a hard thing to do, sometimes even a matter of chance.

I saw a comment here once, I think john e. (awepittance, flourescent grey, etc) that was pretty insightful - he called musicians like Tycho "artisan" in scope - they master a method, sound, aesthetic, excel at it, but don't break any new ground nor really progress. A counterpoint would be the bedroom producers who stumble into new territory (Burial for example, DJ Screw) by completely throwing out any sense of restraint or interest in 'proper' production. I often shy away from criticizing music I don't like and/or find questionable in terms of artistic merit because well, I'm not musically apt at all. I usually only get fired up not if something mediocre is liked by many, but if it's critically acclaimed with little merit (and that's not really the artists fault most of the time). This album seems to fall right into that category. Fans will love it, skeptics will dismiss it, a lot like myself we'll think something like "it's 'aight / not bad at all"

 

 

 

Some good points. As you say, 'Usurper' arrives eventually but by that point it's far too late. I dunno about artists like Tycho and Com Truise ( Lone, I find to be a bit more varied) - they just crank out the same thing from album to album.

 

Part of the problem, I believe, is that they spend so much in their individual creative worlds that when they finally emerge into the light with their new work, they've lost any objective view of it.

 

There's a reason that best-selling authors have editors. They look at it with a cool and critical eye and make cuts where necessary.

 

I'm sure Com Truise is a really talented individual but his stuff is totally devoid of variety because he is both artist and critic.



#27 joshuatx

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:31 AM

Part of the problem, I believe, is that they spend so much in their individual creative worlds that when they finally emerge into the light with their new work, they've lost any objective view of it.

 

 

This is a good point, and I think it's an issue that's compounded by the internet and social media. Bubbles can encapsulate not just the artist but labels, fans, and genres to the point where they are out of touch with a bigger context of music past, present, or future. Granted, there were tight-knit scenes and genres in the past that isolated themselves but the biggest difference was they were still curtailed by geographic isolation, time, limited resources. Now people can literally see feedback, analysis, memes, etc. of their own work in a matter of hours. I've become turned off of a lot of outlets of discussion and even whole genres because this stuff also leads to mob mentality, lack of canon, and even historical revisionism. 

 

It also leads to people being torch carriers for certain trends and when they are so lauded and successful there's no incentive to change much. Switching radically can be such a risk to turn off older fans too because they can so readily find other music. So I think some might overthink this or try to ignore and end up being very, very hyperaware of what they release or don't release. That happened with Grimes. He spent years on her last album, with mixed fan reaction to one of her singles being a factor in taking so long, collaborated with all these people, tried all these new instruments and production methods, and it was still a pretty meh pop album imo. On the flipside Genesis was made in fury in less than a week in a garageband and it's excellent.



#28 QQQ

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:32 AM

i thought this was really good actually, it caught me off guard a bit. it is obviously similar to his other stuff but i really got into it when listening this morning.

#29 Joyrex

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:59 AM

I listened again this morning - starting to grow on me. I think the reason we get disappointed with these kinds of releases is we're expecting new territory for them, and they deliver (admittedly good) variations of what we fell in love with them as artists in the first place, and are disappointed when there's nothing new.

 

Ironically, the flip side of this is when an artist does go in a new direction, and is derided for "losing their sound".



#30 BoomTssPhace

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:35 PM

lol posted the wrong response in the wrong thread, my stupid ass


Edited by BoomTssPhace, 16 June 2017 - 06:36 PM.


#31 sweepstakes

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:57 PM



Likewise there are artists I really love that I must admit have a pretty locked down production method. Like classic 70s and 80s era dub music, I could listen to that shit all day forever and never get sick of it but it is extremely formulaic. Plenty of sample-based music (vaporwave is a good example or artists like VHS Head or 1991) or genre-defined music (black metal) falls in this camp too, even the best artists are actually quite creative and adventurous in their scope of work. To an outsider it all sounds the same.

Mmmm I see your point on an intellectual level, but in the case of VHS Head at least there's way more emotional resonance, at least for me. Might just be a matter of taste or, like you say, initiation.
But yeah I can listen to dub all day too.

#32 fumi

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:12 PM

I also find there is way more emotional content with Lone compared to Com Truise and Tycho (who for me just sounds like call-waiting muzak). The Lone album from last year had some stunning pieces on it.

 

Seriously, who could not like this?

 



#33 dr lopez

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:38 PM

and if you're going for perfected 80s aesthetic and sound palette then why not just listen to mitch murder. latest EP was really great

 

 


Edited by dr lopez, 20 June 2017 - 08:38 PM.


#34 vasio

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:25 PM

Upon hearing the album maybe the blending of the tracks is intentional. This album really is absolutely fantastic as driving music, perfect chillwave for a journey, similar but different like the scenery! Hearing the album from the first track till the end is the only way since there's no standout tracks. 

 

Replayability is really low though, I can't imagine hearing it too often because of the points already made in previous posts.



#35 fumi

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:30 PM

Upon hearing the album maybe the blending of the tracks is intentional. This album really is absolutely fantastic as driving music, perfect chillwave for a journey, similar but different like the scenery! Hearing the album from the first track till the end is the only way since there's no standout tracks. 

 

Replayability is really low though, I can't imagine hearing it too often because of the points already made in previous posts.

 

Yeah, that's a good point. It probably is good driving music.

 

What I find really bad about Com Truise and Tycho (who is by far the worst offender) is what Brian Eno famously said about the Muzak Corporation in the late 80s.

 

"The problem with Muzak is that they made music you could ignore but they didn't make music you could listen to."



#36 melancholera

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:30 PM

I started out by not being able to get into his albums much at all (Galactic Melt, In Decay), perhaps because it all sounded the same. Then one day I had some artist radio station on and the song Data Kiss played out of its usual context. And it sounded amazing! And maybe that's the best way to hear this stuff? I don't know, but I've revisited that song and it's still great, along with a few others that are just fantastic on their own merits. 







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