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Monday, December 15, 2008

Borghesia - No Hope, No Fear / Surveillance and Punishment

Name: Borghesia
Album(s): No Hope, No Fear* / Surveillance & Punishment ^
Year(s): 1987* / 1989^
Style: Industrial New Wave
Similar Bands: Einsturzende Neubauten, Nitzer Ebb, KMFDM
"One-Word" Review: Industriganda-Synth-Fear-Wave
Based Out Of: Slovenia (ex Yugoslavia)
Label: Play It Again Sam USA*^, Wax Trax Records*
No Hope, No Fear - Cover & Record
No Hope No Fear - Back & Record
Surveillance & Punishment - Cover & Record
Surveillance & Punishment - Back & Record

No Hope, No Fear (1987)*
  1. Ni Upanja, Ni Strahu (No Hope, No Fear) 4:30
  2. Na Smrtno Kazen (Sentenced To Death) 5:15
  3. 133 4:15 /
  4. Blato (Mud) 5:16
  5. Lovci (Hunters) 3:19
  6. Mi Smo Povsod (We Are Everywhere) 5:41
Surveillance & Punishment (1989)^
  1. Discipline! (Punish Them) 5:06
  2. Raga (In Memorium Goran Devide) 4:13 /
  3. Am I? (VersionTwo) 4:20
  4. Discipline! (There Is Rebellion In The Wind) 5:06
Album Rating (1-10): 5.5* 6.0^

Members & Other Bands:Dario Seraval - vocals, programing (1982 - 1991)
Aldo Ivancic - drums, programing (1982 - 1995) (Bast)
Zemira Alajbegovic - video (1982 - 1989)
Goran Devide - video (1982, died in Maribor in 1988)
Neven Korda - video (1982 - 1989)
Igor Leonardi - Guitar*
Karmen Mihajlovic - Vox*
Silvo Znidarsic - Engineer*^
Janet Krizaj - Engineer*
Borut Berden - Engineer*
Steinberg - Software Support^
Imre Caki - Conductor Vodice Primary School^

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys. But from the album art, they look like an electronic dance / new wave band. Although the albums were donated to a thrift shop amidst other gothic and dark new wave acts, so perhaps they will be more depressing or droning. I did take note that their song titles were in a different language, and just from the name and art work I assumed Russian or German.

Album Reviews: “No Hope, No Fear” starts off with the title track, with a synthesized drum beat and synthesized electronic bass. Nitzer Ebb style drums are added as well as other electronic beats. The low vocals are sung in their native tongue, and sound like propaganda chanting, rather than singing, but the dark, cold atmosphere is created. The song gets a little new wave funky at times, thanks to some keyboard effects, but they come in small spurts. After some sampled vocals, the singing becomes more aggressive, shouting as if the audience has grown bigger, and his voice is trying to reach the back of the courtyard. “Sentenced to Death” begins with more dialogue sampling, and is followed up with an industrial clanking rhythm. The music is sparse, with lots of empty space between the instruments, creating the barren cold instrumental songscape. There are distorted vocals layered, but they do not constitute as lyrics. The industrial rhythm comes in for a short break, overlapped with a little bit of klezmer style. “133” beep beeps along, sounding like a intensive care ward in a hospital. The industrial rhythms (a hard working heart, maybe) enter into the rhythm for a minute, and the synthesized keyboards come in. The pulsing heart beat is never lost, but the song evolves from a hospital room to a dream state. It is instrumental again in the sense that vocals are distorted and add more rhythm rather than lyrical purpose.

“Mud’s” metallic stomp-drum intro creeps into sinister existence, and security announcement vocals drone overtop for half of the song. It really evokes images of patterned movements by a vast armored army and cold war fear. “Hunters” possesses a quicker drum beat with loud whisks of air that could be odd screams over top. A haunting whine/cry/vocal adds to the oddness and confusion. This is the music inside the E-Protectorate’s labyrinth of a fortress in Solarbabies. It is just repetitive shouts, chants, noises really that inspire fear. “We Are Everywhere” ends this mini 6 track album with everything that has come before it. A sinister jaws/spy hunter bass line drives the song with its two drum beats percussion. And what follows is a mix of buzzing sounds, spoken word commands, mechanical marches and frightening synthesizers.

“Discipline (Punish)” begins the ep, 2 years later in the making. It sounds like Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal without the pop element or any musical diversity. There is a haunting chorus of kids chanting over the music, accompanied by bells and cheery synth sounds. That becomes over run with more propaganda shouts, as the warden takes musical hold. “Raga” is a Middle Eastern instrumental, punctuated with a bassy repetitive alarm effect. It still has an empty, bleak feel, as there is a lot of space and echoy effects layered deep down in the production.

“Am I?” has more musical beats than most of the other tracks that have come before it. This is more along the lines of industrial techno. It is still more empty than rave music, but it is more than these guys have offered as of yet. There is an choral chant that is echoy and evil and mixed down in the music. And they use a squeaky animal sound too, which kinda seems odd when compared to the mix. Also mixed in are distorted lyrics from “Sex Machine” “get on up.” Finally “Discipline (Rebellion)” finished off their EP with more stripped down “Smooth Criminal” elements. And more repetitive dialogue, set in different tones, is added. Since this and the first track are both called Discipline, it makes sense that they have the same characteristics. Actually, thinking about Smooth Criminal, perhaps this was an inspiration for the song, since the video for it was very industrial, and there is that one part with industrial vocals over the musical break down.

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