Borghesia – “Surveillance and Punishment” (1989)

Oddly enough, this is the second time in less than a week that Yugoslavia will be referenced on Life in the Vinyl Lane…

I think the four-song Surveillance and Punishment (1989) came out right before the mega-meltdown that fractured Yugoslavia and introduced us all to the term “ethnic cleansing.” Borghesia’s music sort of fits the unease and tension of the time, with it’s abrasive style of quasi industrial electronica.

My copy came to me via the fantastic Guestroom Records in Oklahoma City, and since I’d heard Borghesia before, buying this record was a no-brainer. While somewhat similar to 1987s No Hope No Fear, the other Borghesia record I own, there’s one major stylistic departure, the Middle East influenced “Raga,” a song that sounds like a weird dystopian Persian dream. Contrast that to “Am I?”, with it’s trippy electro-vocals and sampling of James Brown, and you’ve got a record that covers a lot of musical ground in under 19 minutes.