CD Reviews > Borghesia

Borghesia - And Man Created God

There is just too much to say about Borghesia's contribution to the Industrial/Cross-Over Post-Industrial Electronica movements (for lack of a better term), so first of all I will direct you here; yet despite the rich history and great reviews on that Wiki page, this band dares you to judge them by their cover. When you get into the reality, the 'nitty-gritty', you'll be blown away! I certainly was.

On the first play of this release, I'd scantly known of Borghesia in the later 80's. Their label at the time, Play It Again, Sam Records (PIAS) had lots of ad space on record sleeves of bands such as Front242, Frontline Assembly, Nitzer ebb, etc. I'm certain in my 'lp vault' I could find evidence of such; but I'd not acquired their music. Well, sometimes things happen right when they are supposed to. As a completeist, I will now be sure to gather past efforts by this band. “And Man Created God” is such a together and timely release, it shall remain my go-to for Borghesia, especially when presenting examples of great new releases to others.

Let's examine Track 01: “We Don't Believe You”. Oddly enough, I feel it can be described as a mash-up of Radiohead & E.B.M. (Emergency Broadcast Network). Mind you it's a specific Radiohead track “Fitter, Happier”. The use of electronics is full frequency in the best Stereophonic reproduction you can have, and the way the lyrical content is brought out as first a laundry list of normal sounding things, then enveloped in the swells of the music and then clearly expressing these things, are simply not to be believed. This is a brilliant, compelling, and a hard to follow first track! Yet they do follow it, and with a full album of great moments and perfect cuts.

As a matter of fact, Track 02, “C'est La Guerre”, mixes things up extremely well. The title is a saying I've even used in my youth. A mix of stark male vocals and dark diva sirens. Although not 'upbeat', if this doesn't get played out on some of the better dance-floors in NYC & LA (yeah I'm talking to you XIAN!)… well, I want to hear what is -- and it better be as good!

Stepping aside from the review for one moment, I've often found an album's third track to be a sign of its overall quality; and once in my DJ days, I even did a set of only Track 3’s. It went o.k., but people want what they know sometimes. Track 03, “My Life is My Message”, BINGO! Not wanting to raise expectations, but if I were a filmmaker, this track would be in the background of many a scene, and certainly on the soundtrack! If you're not convinced that Borghesia is the real deal after this, well I'm certain you could go hang with the hipster community. What are you waiting for? “Be the rage”… or was that, "Be the change"; either way, I'm there, are you with me?

Entering the realm of Track 04 “Kaufen Macht Frei (Buy Baby Buy)”, the attitude here is as a shining a light on vapid consumerism; much related to SNOG; yet I’m certain the influence goes other way round (or is it just synchronicity? Human development” Great minds thinking alike?). Oddly enough, the music here adds a slight air of either Beck or David Gilmore. Congratulations to an album unafraid of track by track production! I feel like I'm on a remote Island, yet still hearing the echoes of various cultural iconic moments in history from afar. Nice mix!! To quote Madonna, I'm "Like a Virgin", but blown away for the very first time! I'm starting to feel that Slovinia is the coolest place on Earth as the 'Liabach'-ness came out at the end of this track.

Track 05, “194”, first I simply say, "WOW”! It's tracks like these that support the notion of writing about music being almost a doomed mission; and indeed, if I could only just summon everyone I feel who needs to hear this track into a room with great sound and comfy seating… I would BLAST it! Maybe someday in the far future, in my own nightclub, on my 70th birthday or something?!! So, I can hardly wait until the day I know what "194" represents. This track is a call-to-arms; an industrial version of the "I have a dream speech"; a connected, well-written, vitriolic call to action! Too bad the direct language will omit radio play (well, not net radio). I love this track, and will play it before any challenging situations I might knowingly face in the future.

I'm going to just breath now. I'm so tempted to end here and just play track 05 a couple more times. I'd have this song played at my funeral if it were not for the fear of the parlor getting burned down by riot, with this tracks strength of conviction. I don't fear much, but I'm clearly hesitating on moving to the next track. Can it be any more intense? Or even just as good as the several tracks I've just experienced? One way to find out…

Track 06. “Profit, Power and Lies”. Could Liabach, Clan of Xymox, and Snog somehow genetically spawn a sound? If so, here it is; but with Spanish subtitles. It will be a long time before I tire of this wonderful release and tracks like these.

07. “Para Todos Todo”. Oh, Snap! There's even a Juno Reactor-esque nod to the spaghetti western on this release. And they say too many cooks spoil the stew, Ha! Bon Appetit! This is just amazing. Timeless, yet current; International, yet homey vibe!! So far this amazing set of tracks has reinforced my idea that Goth & Industrial (although likened to twins), and distant relatives of the punk-rock movement, Industrial, and its offspring, really is where the revolution is! I'm thinking this is actually about the Zpatistas and the revolutionary battle in Mexico, though I've not translated all of the Spanish... yet! The music is superb! ¡Viva la Revolución!

08. “Too Much is not Enough”. Another track with anti-consumerism themes, why not? It's not a carbon copy of anything on the album, it's different; and refreshingly enough, the whole release is willing to push envelopes, be challenging, and not fear breaking pre-conceptions, molds, and stereotypes. Call it what you need to, but we've departed simple genres long ago, like Apollo 11 on its way to the Moon in 1969!

And now the finale, 09. “Shoot at the Clock!” This track starts with a great sample or reading of a situation in Paris that either influenced this track, its authors, or was just too good to not include! I love good use of rare sampled material.

I rarely do this, but true excellence must be noted. I give Then Man Created God 5/5 stars! I couldn't imagine feeling this was a waste of money or time. This album may change your life, or at the very least change your mind about the true status of modern music in the sub-genres.

Track List:
01. We Don't Believe You
02. C'est La Guerre
03. My Life is My Message
04. Kaufen Macht Frei - Buy Baby Buy
05. 194
06. Profit, Power and Lies
07. Para Todos Todo
08. Too Much is Not Enough
09. Shoot at the Clock!

~Alexavier S. Strangerz