Leon Seti is hardly a new artist, as his current project has already released an album and an EP. He’s also played at the O2 Academy, supported other huge electronic acts on tour and most recently, his new album Cobalt shot to number one on the Italian Electronic Albums Chart.
While the Italian artist is now based in London, his roots explain how he’s come to create his particular style of music: it’s part experimental electronica, part classical and part pop. It’s also, based on Cobalt, clearly about the aesthetic.
What many EDM heads don’t realize about the more loose forms of electronic music is that despite their experimental and seemingly unstructured nature, they’re actually very much rooted in classical music. This is the case with the base music in Cobalt, whose intro is all musical and all ambient. The only beat is a heartbeat which doesn’t actually provide structure for the track as it would in an EDM track but rather it is carried by the ambient music. Whereas beats are most important in EDM and melodies are most important in classical and pop music, the ambient space and sound design are most important in experimental music.
After the introductory title track, Seti introduces vocals which are pop by sound and nature but they are sort of a modern version of opera. They ornament over the ambient musical structure and work with or without a driving beat. “Stripper” and “Paranoia” and album closer “In the Darkness” all have driving beats that could even be recognized as bass house or future bass while “South” and “Everything I had” are much more ambient with less obvious structure. Many others are in between these two extremes but that’s what makes the album so balanced.
While definitely not containing any dancefloor bangers, Cobalt and Leon Seti’s whole discography are definitely worth checking out for electronic music lovers who appreciate the art form as the diverse genre as it is, its roots and how it can be used in so many ways. EDM was born of composers like Seti and they will continue to be an important part of electronica not just for their own art but for the way they push the science of composition and sound design forward.
Cobalt is out now and can be streamed and playlisted on Spotify.