Our buds over at esteemed Ann Arbor-based record label Ghostly International deserve another pad on their affable backs. This time it’s because their already impressive roster has gained the addition of Com Truise, a talented, young synth freak whose name evokes images of a C3P0’d version of a certain, famed Scientologist, and makes thick, anthemic synthesizer music, which has so far been described as: ‘Window-fogging synth-wave’, and: ‘What thugs listen to in space’ (Thanks, Lex Records). The sound is both deeply haunting and funky, albeit in a low-slung, weathered, slow-motion sort of way, and the epic, star-gazing banger ‘Farlight’ has made us tap the hell out of the repeat button for the past week.
Over the course of the last decade in music, it’s gotten progressively clearer that the analogue synthesizer is so much more than a retro-wave-y, nostalgic hipster instrument. Synths such as the Juno 60 are slowly beginning to gain wider acceptance as musical vehicles on par with, say, the traditional drum-kit or the electric guitar, and a new generation of artists like Oneohtrix Point Never, Stellar Om Source and, yes, our boy Com Truise seem more concerned with exploring the depth, and emotional range of the instrument, than with any kind of gimmicky, short-lived conceptualism. The analogue synthesizer has proven to be a vast netherworld of damp, unexplored, very contemporary, emotional territory, which, in effect, renders the inevitable, easy ‘80s synth-pop’ comparisons obsolete.
You might say that a synth riff doesn’t equate The Human League any more than a tambourine necessitates a Hare Krishna jam. And when you listen to this gifted New Jersey-dwelling artist slapping his synth upside the head to make it sing, the virtually inexhaustible potential of synthesized music begins to dawn on you a little bit.