Com Truise’s Galactic Melt was one of the more underrated electronic releases of 2011. A loving homage to early synthpop — the low-tech kind full of warm analog synths, squiggly beats and molasses tempos — the album skillfully fetishized primitive technology and misty ’80s nostalgia. In Decay is cut from the same cloth, but it isn’t exactly Galactic Melt‘s follow-up; the 13-song collection is a compilation of unreleased tunes, all of which pre-date even Com Truise’s 2010 debut EP, Cyanide Sisters.
As a result, In Decay isn’t quite as dynamic as Com Truise’s other releases. Both “Stop” and “Video Arkade” meander for about a minute too long, and the lack of variation in pacing is detrimental to the album. Still, In Decay has some outstanding moments. The proto-industrial fluttering keyboards and electronic drums of “Open” give way to tranquil ambient electro, while “84 Dreamin” buries the sound of chirping birds under diffracted oscillations and Miami Vice-style synth bravado. “Klymaxx” contrasts syrupy 8-bit ostinatos with chaotic radio static; “Data Kiss” seduces like Air thanks to blocky funk buzz; and “Dreambender” grafts a doomy, Joy Division-esque backbone to a keening melody and sunrise keyboards. In Decay reinforces how Com Truise embraces its retro influences — but isn’t trapped by them.