Words by Stína Satanía
The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 4)
Since 2003, the Reykjavík-based English–Icelandic musician, producer and singer-songwriter Joseph Cosmo Muscat has funnelled his music through different aesthetics, and now has had several projects under his belt, from metal (Celestine, formed in 2007) to hardcore punk (I Adapt), from electro to hip hop (Rímnariki). Last summer he dropped his third dreamy electronic solo album, entitled The World Is Not Enough, under the name Seint.
On this album Seint was influenced by the sudden passing of his life-long friend IngólfurBjarni Kristinsson in 2017, to whom The World Is Not Enough is dedicated. Their sonic closeness is mirrored in ‘Guð’ (‘God’), where Joseph Cosmo Muscat honours his friend’s memory in the most accurate way, by letting his late friend’s voice be heard in the chorus. Though still a bit melancholic and with a thread of heartbreak, The World Is Not Enough leans towards the optimistic and bright side of life. In addition to a guest appearance by electro soul-rap group Cryptochrome, the song ‘No Music for My Love’ also contains a sample from 2012’s remake of the movie Total Recall, which is no accident and thereby acts as a kind of the end of a certain road, but giving the feeling of stepping onto a new one.
Nestled within the 28 minutes of Seint’s latest record is a recapturing of the combination of a crispy mix of electronics and pop and synthetic sound of TR-808 drum machine topped with a tinge of auto-tuned digitised vocals. The heart-poundingly potent bass begs for the respect of listening to it with a subwoofer; if you do so, I swear it will hit you in the right place. The World Is Not Enough is surprisingly radio-friendly; as it turns out, post-pop is easily accessible to a listener despite the depth of the background elements. Musically, the album is spacious and produced with a world-class quality as Seint is an artist whose courage and talent allow him to create on totally different sonic layers. This is because only one direction is not enough for him.
Joseph Cosmo Muscat has written, performed, recorded and produced The World Is Not Enough on his own. Nonetheless, in addition to Cryptochrome, as mentioned before, there are other guests on the album, such as the Ice-pop sensation and producer Kría (who also co-wrote lyrics and performed vocals for ‘The World Is Not Enough’) and the multi-genre artist and musician Grétar Már Sigurðsson, who co-produced some tracks and performed backing vocals on ‘You’ and ‘Guð’, where Ari Árelíus appears, too. Infused with different musical influences and the rich input of the featured fellow musicians, The World Is Not Enough is a diverse record that tramples monotony.
For this album, the theme is a matter of focus. It contains rich food for thought, and is not an album to listen to in the background. So turn your bass knob way up and sink properly into Seint’s record. You’ll sail away from the apocalyptic doom of the past and see a brightening sky above.
Seint – The World Is Not Enough
1. Sad Boy
3. On & Off
6. No Music for My Love (Feat. Cryptochrome)
7. The World is Not Enough (Feat. KRÍA)
8. When Nothing Matters