Iceland has a rich heritage when it comes to music. It’s one of the most musical countries in the world as well as the most literate. From a young age, Icelanders are supported and encouraged to express themselves however they see fit. Their talents are nurtured and grown and this has bred some of the most astounding, beautiful and unique musicians and bands to grace the worlds stage.
However, not every band has the overseas influence of Sigur Ros or Bjork, even if it’s every bit as deserved. Borko is one of the many musicians with a wealth of talent hidden away within Iceland. His presence in the UK is limited predominantly to the internet through the likes of Bandcamp. However, the more we listen to his work the more evident it is that he’s too large to stay contained on an island for long. Borko’s music is utterly mesmerising; a startling blend of almost dance styled beats, 80s synthesizers, eerie folk lullabies and a swelling orchestral backing track. Borko blends it all together to make his own niche in the world. Defying every genre out there to create something that is uniquely his, he breeds a new genre of music and fills it with his unfaltering passion.
Borko has a strong, resonant, firmly accented voice that cuts through your soul. His lyrics are as mesmeric as his music is, each song sounds more like an eloquent and puzzling poem that will leave you listening with bated breath to try and work out his cryptic messages hidden within his words. His voice is bolstered and uplifted constantly by his stirring blend of orchestral synths; rich and grandiose, his music swirls and grows, undulating and crashing down around you like the harsh Icelandic waves. Violins merge together with almost Latin infused brass medleys while abstract noises crackle and burst to life behind soothing organs. On paper Borko might sound like a madman, and who knows, maybe he is. But in reality he is a musical genius capable of creating a perfectly crafted song that can thrill and move you. One listen to a song like Abandoned in the Valley of Knives and you’ll be hooked.
Listening to an album like Born to be Free is like drifting through a fairytale landscape, each song igniting another fire down the pathway in the darkness and beckoning you further into the forest. If you close your eyes and allow yourself to be immersed you can almost smell the damp earth of the forest around you. If you want to lose yourself in music then lose yourself in Borko.
More info can be found at https://www.facebook.com/borkoborkoborko/
Review by Joe Knipe