VA - Satan In Love - Rare Finnish Synth-Pop & Disco 197 [Svart Records - 2018]"Finnish synth pop" may sound like a made up genre to many, but the folks at Svart have compiled a wonderful collection of this underheard movement. Satan In Love showcases 22 tracks from 1979-1992 and brings this interesting period to the world stage. While the synthesizer may have been a late addition to the Finnish music scene, these pioneering Finns embraced it and turned out some fun and well done pop.
Sometimes full and lush, other times starkly Kraftwerkian, Satan In Love covers a fairly wide breadth of synth pop. Resting mostly near the disco spectrum, the tracks on display lend themselves more for dance floor antics than quiet, wallflower appreciation. Opening with a cover of Space's "Magic Fly," Satan In Love wears its disco heavy vibe on its sleeve. That's not to say that this is a disco compilation, though. Numbers such as Emilia's David Bowie-esque "Satan In Love" and Tyhjät Patterit's propulsive post-punk "Liian myöhään" take the compilation in some interesting directions. And, for all the Finnish b-boys out there, BB's "Computer Talk" begs the listener to pull out the linoleum and get breakin'.
While well put together compilations are great to listen to, often times, they're extremely hard to write about. The sheer number of tracks and artists on Satan In Love makes summation difficult, outside of just, "check this out!" The Finnish take on synth pop involves a lot of disco covers (well, at least as far as what is covered in this release), but their other influences come to the fore quite often, and with interesting and engaging results. Although, these days, Finland is probably more closely associated with extreme metal, its synth pop roots shouldn't be overlooked, and Svart's Satan In Love is a lovingly put together time capsule of an intriguing time in its history.Paul Casey