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syntet hjärtatsslag
Artist: Syntet
Title: Hjärtats Slag
Genre: Minimal EBM
Release Date: 1st December 2020
Label: TZW Produktion


Album Review

Since the genre’s early days Sweden loves EBM and EBM loves Sweden, so to speak a real love story. Thus, it is no wonder that whenever a new artist or release from Sweden is born, the audience’s expectations rise. SYNTET is such a new project, founded back in 2018, but the only member Tomas Z. Westberg is everything but new in the genre. He was very active with several projects in the late 80s and early 90s such as QUEER, SONIC ASSAULT and THE QUEEWEED to name a few. After having released an EP and several singles, ‘Hjärtats Slag’ (meaning “heartbeat”) is the project’s first long player. All the previous released singles can be found on this album. SYNTET translates as “synthetic” and claims what is coming up: Pure and minimalistic electronic music. Additionally Tomas recruited Leif Viklund and J3 Seuqcaj as backing vocalists on a few tracks, the latter being no one less than a member of the EBM and Industrial pioneers Á;GRUMH.

‘Genom Natt Och Dag’ is a real prospecting album opener. Its unfailing drive is what the listener awaits, even if the utterance is a bit cold. But this is exactly what EBM stands for, being repetitive and minimalistic. The song title “through night and day” meets this badge. And there is a message, what is typical for EBM too: “You make me beautiful, because you are beautiful.” The second song ‘Lova Mig Allt Blir Bra’ comes along as sudden as the opener ended. Although the ever-repeating sequence is massively handcrafted, the song scores with the similarly repeating message of its title “promise me that everything will be fine”. Again, the utterance is not what the title anticipates. It contradicts it. But to be honest, it fits even better as it is. With its minimalistic and partly wavy characteristic, this track could find listeners outside of the EBM scene.

While the previous numbers made use of very reduced lyrics, ‘Ungdomens Hus’ comes with an overwhelming number of words. The song translates to something like “youth house”. There is obviously more to tell. If it has not already happened, a comparison with names like ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL is inevitable by now at the latest. This is a big compliment as the song undoubtedly has the potential to become a dance floor killer, but so do the other tracks too. ‘Brinner Ut’ (“Burning Out”) is no exception in this regard. The record simply continues to challenge the dancing feet inexorably. “I am burning out. I am burning for you (meaning to be passionate about).” What a promising beautiful message!

With ‘Om Jag Kan’ (“If I can”) the dance floor abilities take a short break. The song tells the story of becoming a better being just because of the existence of the addressed person. It splashes around in the non-swimmer area, but honestly the content needs exactly that easy listening. ‘Som Du’ means “like you” and is the same story written with other words and with a slightly different point of view. The song is way more danceable. It is the narrative about envy and lust but also about idolatry, which starts in the everyday life. ‘Dummare Och Dummare’ is pure sarcasm and rage at the same time. The song which means “dumb and dumber” states that we as a species have obviously failed in general and already have passed the zenith by far, with almost everybody sitting in rows with our eyes staring at the devices that have long since taken over thinking for us. The album is picking up speed on every level and comes to its climax.

By now you would be prepared for the final chapter that expands the climax. Instead ‘Enkla Begär (Estás Desnudo)’ is presented as a story about sexual desires and true love. This intellectual way of creating is what makes art so attractive and valuable for the inclined connoisseur. The song in this special situation does not mince any words. It says it all that the title translates to “simple desires (you are naked)”. And again, another highlight just appears before you know it. ‘När Jag Mår Som Bäst’ is full of sadness and failure. This is a very old topic that has been highlighted many times by a lot of musicians. But it never gets boring because everyone is familiar with it. The song title means “when I feel best”, but the lines “welcome to my world” and “up is down and down is up” is what keeps sticking to your ears. If the DJs have not played SYNTET yet, at least they should try this track. The album rears up with ‘Monotoni’ (“monotony”) one last time, repeats the often recited “cold as steel” phrase amongst other typical statements and soon comes to an end.

‘Hjärtats Slag’ surely doesn’t reinvent the wheel. This kind of music has been around for decades. But like with every new EBM album there is more to it. SYNTET knows how to use his very own style and presents many ups and downs within ten beautifully handcrafted songs that all in all sound very precious. The music is direct and emotional. In particular, the listener will find a retrospective of the eighties and late seventies. That time is palpable and tangible at every stage of the record, you can even kind of smell it while listening. Below the line, the songs could have been a bit more varied, but the artist obviously doesn’t want that because it would not be his goal, and it would not fit either. The top-notch mixing and mastering result earns ‘Hjärtats Slag’ an extra point. No wonder, because the record has been released on vinyl as well, which certifies Tomas Z. Westberg to be someone who lives and loves music. If this is just the debut album, let us wait for the even greater gold treasure that may come in the future.


Tracklist

01. Genom Natt Och Dag
02. Lova Mig Allt Blir Bra
03. Ungdomens Hus
04. Brinner Ut
05. Om Jag Kan
06. Som Du
07. Dummare Och Dummare
08. Enkla Begär (Estás Desnudo)
09. När Jag Mår Som Bäst
10. Monotoni


Line-up

Tomas Z. Westberg
Leif Viklund – Backing vocals on tracks 3 and 9
J3 Seuqcaj – Backing vocals on track 8


Website

https://www.tzw.se / https://www.facebook.com/syntetmusik


Cover Picture

syntet hjärtatsslag


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9.5
Total: 9.3 / 10




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