Wave 1

Last updated
Wave 1
EP by Com Truise
Released February 18, 2014
Label Ghostly International
Producer Com Truise
Com Truise chronology
In Decay
Wave 1
Silicon Tare
Singles from Wave 1
  1. "Declination"
    Released: December 3, 2013 [1]

Wave 1 is the third extended play released under synthwave musician Seth Haley's pseudonym Com Truise. Haley described his releases as Com Truise as parts of a story about the world's first "Synthetic Astronaut" on his adventure to a planet, and Wave 1 is where he lands on a kind-of replica of Earth. Musically, Haley had to get inspiration from several artists as this part of the story is also where the music starts to change.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Com Truise American electronic musician

Seth Haley is an American electronic musician. His stage name is a spoonerism of the name of American actor Tom Cruise.


The EP is a combination of styles including synth soul, drum and bass, synth funk and electro, and retains the bright and danceable vibe from Com Truise's debut album Galactic Melt (2011). Promoted with two pre-EP track releases, a music video for the track "Subsonic" and a February–March 2014 tour, the EP was issued on the Ghostly International label in February 2014 to generally positive reviews, with critics praising the record's creativity. Commercially, it also landed in the top ten of the American Billboard Dance/Electronic and Heatseekers album charts.

Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.

Drum and bass, is a genre and branch of electronic music which emerged from rave and jungle scenes in Britain during the early 1990s. The style is often characterised by fast breakbeats with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers.

Electro is a genre of electronic music and early hip hop directly influenced by the use of the Roland TR-808 drum machines, and funk. Records in the genre typically feature drum machines and heavy electronic sounds, usually without vocals, although if vocals are present they are delivered in a deadpan manner, often through electronic distortion such as vocoding and talkboxing. This is the main distinction between electro and previously prominent genres such as disco, in which the electronic sound was only part of the instrumentation. It also palpably deviates from its predecessor boogie for being less vocal-oriented and more focused on electronic beats produced by drum machines.

Background and composition

In a June 2013 Twitter post, Seth Haley said he wrote Wave 1 without knowing it was a reflection of how he was living in the few months of his life before. He started taking care of his health, suffered through an ended relationship, and relocated to Brooklyn. He said that despite not usually revealing his personal life publicly, he said in an interview that when he makes his music, : "it's always just there, and it happens, but I don't focus on it. My music's all based on this story about an android that travels to this other planet. So I'm not really writing about myself, but then I realized I have been all along. It's all been about me." [2]

Twitter Global micro-blogging Internet service

Twitter is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software ("app"). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Maintaining the bright and danceable feel from Com Truise's 2011 debut studio album Galactic Melt [3] [4] and garnering more of a melodic approach than previous releases of the project, [5] Wave 1 is a combination of synth soul, [4] drum and bass, [4] synth funk, [6] electro, [6] and, in the words of a Pitchfork Media reviewer, "fussy 80s computer-pop". [6] Seth Haley has described the character of Com Truise as the first ever "Synthetic Astronaut", and each release under the name shows the next part in this voyage to a planet. Wave 1 is a part of the story where he lands on a sort-of replica of Earth, and Haley thought there was "something eerie about it, something familiar but something peculiar as well." Because this was also meant to be a part of the story where the music starts changing, he had taken inspiration from several acts including New Order and Prince to have a much broader range of tempos and styles in each track. [7]

<i>Galactic Melt</i> 2011 studio album by Com Truise

Galactic Melt is the debut studio album by American electronic musician Com Truise, released on June 5, 2011 by the independent record label Ghostly International.

New Order (band) British rock band

New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by vocalist and guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris. The band formed after the demise of Joy Division, following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis; they were joined by Gillian Gilbert on keyboards later that year. New Order's integration of post-punk with electronic and dance music made them one of the most acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s. They were the flagship band for Manchester-based independent record label Factory Records and its nightclub The Haçienda, and worked in long-term collaboration with graphic designer Peter Saville.

Prince (musician) American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and filmmaker

Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant fashion sense and use of makeup, and wide vocal range. A multi-instrumentalist, he was considered a guitar virtuoso and was also skilled at playing the drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, and synthesizer. Prince pioneered the Minneapolis sound, which is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, in the late 1970s.


The opener "Wasat" sets the scene of the story, starting with a short, atmospheric prelude before it moves into "an uptempo, hypercolor groove". [8] The "VHS-quality dubstep" [9] track "Mind" is where the record gets suspenseful, as the drums "threaten" to become, but doesn't entirely become, a fully developed hard-hitting four-on-the-floor beat. [8] These two tracks were described by a Spectrum Culture critic as "a practice in coalescence; taking a moment to take shape and then defying one another’s difference until they too find their peaceful plane of existence." [5] The most melodic track on the EP, "Declination", as well as probably the "most straightforwardly melodic" cut in Com Truise's discography as of the release of the EP, "glides into your headphones like a starship slipping down out of hyperspace", featuring vocals of Joel Ford from the projects Ford & Lopatin, Airbird and Young Ejecta. [8] As a reviewer analyzed, the track opens as "spine-tingling sci-fi dissonance" before turning into a 1980s-esque new wave song. [5]

Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London in the late 1990s. It is generally characterized by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with prominent sub-bass frequencies and epic breakdowns. The style emerged as an offshoot of UK garage, drawing on a lineage of related styles such as 2-step and dub reggae, as well as jungle, broken beat, and grime. In the United Kingdom, the origins of the genre can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican sound system party scene in the early 1980s.

Spectrum Culture is an online music, film, food, and print media webzine that provides weekly reviews and a variety of special features in these areas. It is characterized by its in-depth and sometimes irreverent cultural criticism of both indie and mainstream cultural topics. Spectrum Culture's work has been featured on the official websites of various artists, films, and restaurants across the internet.

Coalescence (physics) the process by which two or more droplets, bubbles or particles merge during contact to form a single daughter droplet, bubble or particle

Coalescence is the process by which two or more droplets, bubbles or particles merge during contact to form a single daughter droplet, bubble or particle. It can take place in many processes, ranging from meteorology to astrophysics. For example, it is seen in the formation of raindrops as well as planetary and star formation.

Wave 1 decreases its tensions on "Subsonic", which goes through several "movements" of slow-building, evocative sounds, including a "hell of a squelchy bass", that the press release analogized to be "soundtracking" the creation of new stars. [8] This evocative vibe continues into "Valis Called (Control)", [8] its title referencing the works of one of the considered "gods of this retro synth phenomenon" Philip K. Dick, [10] followed by the "futuristic R&B" [3] song "Meserere Mei", a track consisting of broken drum beats and spiky synth sounds. [8] The Jamie xx-style [5] title track of Wave 1 calmly ends the EP as the lead melody drifts far away into several "zipping" sci-fi textures and "clustered percussion." [8] [11]

Philip K. Dick American author

Philip Kindred Dick was an American writer known for his work in science fiction. His work explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories dominated by monopolistic corporations, alternative universes, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His writing also reflected his interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences, addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences. Dick produced 44 published novels and approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

Jamie xx British record producer, DJ and composer

James Thomas Smith, known professionally as Jamie xx, is an English musician, DJ, record producer and remixer. He is known for both his solo work and as a member of the English indie pop band The xx.

Promotion and release

The lead single for Wave 1 was "Declination", released on December 3, 2013. [1] On January 23, 2014, "Subsonic" premiered on the website of Spin magazine, which announced the EP's track list and a North American tour promoting the record that lasted from February 11 to March 15. [12] The EP was officially distributed on the Ghostly International label on February 18. [8] On April 14, Vice magazine's electronic music channel Thump premiered the video for "Subsonic". Directed by Hans Lo, Thump summarized that the video "jacks us into a William Gibson novel, leading us through the gridded passages of the Information Superhighway." [13]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 69/100 [14]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [11]
Consequence of Sound B- [3]
Exclaim! 7/10 [15]
NME 6/10 [9]
Pitchfork Media 6.7/10 [6]
Spectrum Culture Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Sputnikmusic 3.7/5 [10]
The Washington Post (favorable) [4]
XLR8R 6.5/10 [16]

Wave 1 received generally positive reviews upon its release; [14] the EP holds a weighted mean of an aggregate 69 out of 100 from Metacritic based on six reviews, indicating that, according to the site, the album's critical reception was favorable in general. [14] Daniel Sylvester of Exclaim! called the EP "looser, more focused and much more imaginative" that Com Truise's past work, writing that while the artist has yet to make "a truly transcendent piece of art, Wave 1 shows the young beatmaker in transition, fearlessly searching for his definitive sound." [15] Similarly, Sputnikmusic reviewer hyperion praised Wave 1 for making a unique new sound with the chillwave palette instead of having limits from the genre, assuming that it could've been the peak of the microgenre if the record's other songs were as good as "Valis Called (Control)" and "Subsonic". [10] Mark Jenkins reviewed it for The Washington Post , and mainly highlighted its unpredictable melodic and rhythmic moments, [4] while Pat Levy, reviewing for Consequence of Sound, honored Haley for getting out of his comfort zone while still having the same sounds and style of his past records. [3] Pitchfork Media's Paul Thompson liked the EP as "a mostly welcome return," but criticized its focus of having perfectly-detailed sound instead of new musical ideas. [6]

In more mixed reviews, Derek Staples, writing for the site Spectrum Culture, wrote that with Wave 1, the artist was starting to lose his "inventive edge" in trying to recreate the same sound of his past releases for nostalgic purposes. [5] A NME critic praised the sounds on the EP, but called it more "disjointed" and "disorienting" than his past albums due to its "abrasive" and glitchy sound and lack of a "steady groove." [9] A reviewer for the magazine XLR8R wrote that Wave 1 may interest listeners, but also was an indication Com Truise's creativity may decline with releases in his later career. [16]

Track listing

All tracks written by Seth Haley [17] .

3."Declination" (featuring Joel Ford)4:28
5."Valis Called (Control)"4:42
6."Miserere Mei"4:02
7."Wave 1"4:02
Total length:28:07

Credits and personnel

Source: [17]

Release history

Worldwide [8] February 18, 2014 Ghostly International


Chart (2014)Peak
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard) [18] 7
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard) [19] 6

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  2. Sharp, Elliot (June 27, 2013). "Com Truise Lands On Planet Wave 1". redbull.com . Retrieved February 2, 2016.
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  12. Martins, Chris (January 23, 2014). "Com Truise Travels Galactic Soundwaves on 'Subsonic'". Spin . SpinMedia . Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  13. Tucker, Graham (April 14, 2014). "Com Truise's New Video is More Sci-Fi Than Scientology". Thump. Vice . Retrieved January 31, 2016.
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  15. 1 2 Sylvester, Daniel (February 14, 2014). "Com Truise Wave 1". Exclaim! . Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  16. 1 2 Macdonald, Kit (February 18, 2014). "Com Truise Wave 1". XLR8R . Retrieved January 31, 2016.
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  19. "Com Truise Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2016.