Miruna Boruzescu, the electronic music artist otherwise known as Borusiade, creates music that can give you chills, makes you sweat and finally melt—transcending genre to forge her own musical universe. In anticipation of her performance at Lente Kabinet Festival in Amsterdam next week, Glamcult caught up with the artist for a proper introduction. “Music is there like a spirit walking around…”
Listening to a Borusiade set or track, there’s a mix of dark disco, acid, minimal wave and house to be heard. With music as a constant in her life since childhood, touring the world with the children’s choir of her native Romania, Miruna emphasises the influence this has on her music to this day. Sitting in her Berlin apartment with a streak of rare Berlin sun slanting across her face, she begins: “I was exposed to music from a very early age and in a very professional way; it was not only listening to music with my parents at home but I was really playing the music and having contact through touring… It definitely influenced me because I was there in the process.”
It’s not only the active involvement in music as a young child that continues to affect the artist’s career, but also the music she was introduced to in that process. Considering “Bach’s genius above them all”, Borusiade’s love for such composers and their compositional styles remains a fundamental influence. “Yes, I guess it’s an unconscious process,” she muses. “It was this mechanical nature and repetitiveness that makes the music so obsessive. It just grabs you, or at least this is the effect that Bach’s music has on me.”
Indeed, it is this exact obsessive, thematic quality that makes Borusiade’s music so addictive. However, the artist continues to emphasise the extent to which all music—even the most industrial electronic music—depends on its classical ancestors: “It’s a skeleton of what you build on today. We can’t possibly take credit for anything, except maybe technology.”
It cannot be denied that the “very emotive, very emotional side” to Bach’s music is a building block in the foundations of Borusiade’s endeavours. A Body, her latest album, is a deeply poetic work. Time after time the listener is caged in the smooth, dissolving tone of the artist’s voice: obsessing over phrases, mantras, repeating and layering into folds of ecstasy. Recorded on very minimal gear with the artist travelling between Bucharest, her Berlin home and Marseilles, where she held residency two years ago, the result is raw, organic and obsessive.
“For me, it’s very, very personal”, she reflects.“I never really thought about it in a conceptual way. It’s like a diary because I don’t really think about an idea that I want to express; it’s more about the ideas I have going on in my mind at that moment. And even though it works very well as a whole, it’s actually made of bits and pieces that were parts of my life. They were collaged into an album and so it becomes a journey. But every track has its own story and background.”
When it comes to her gear, Borusiade stresses her organic approach. “I mean, machines are tools that make it easier to express what has to be let out of me. I basically started making music with next to nothing. We live in this era when you have a computer and this is enough for some people—like my first EP, the voice was recorded with a computer microphone.” Laughing in her attempts to not namedrop brands, she does admit that her mini-Moog goes some way to give an identity of sound: “It has this space and it obsessive—it has a leitmotif sound.” But the piece of gear she truly could not live without? “Probably my brain!”
As one of the only and first female electronic musicians to enter the scene in Romania, it’s time to discuss the elephant in the room. “To be honest, I didn’t really think about it or feel it for a long time; you’re just doing what you want to do… But after a while, I realised I was the only one, the only girl doing this, and it took quite a long time until another generation of female DJs or producers emerged.” Deliberating, she continues: “I started to become confronted with the Female:Pressure platform and it’s like somebody put up a mirror and said: ‘Hey, that’s not the way it should be, you shouldn’t be the only one’.”
Highlighting how in Romania “there’s still a pretty sexist environment”, Borusiade vents her continuing frustration. “Why? I’m doing the same thing. I can use a mixer.” However, there is hope. “In terms of percentages, things are slowly starting to change, especially with things like the Female:Pressure Survey happening—a network of women in electronic music founded by Electric Indigo, which is basically a database where you can make an account if you’re a female DJ.” This has clearly had an irreversible positive effect: “Certain countries and certain festivals have started to impose the 50/50 at least”. With Female:Pressure progressing the cause, and collectives such as Discwoman and Technofeminism at their side, this trend is hugely reassuring.
With a long way still ahead, however, what advice would Borusiade give to young, female musicians? “It’s a beautiful but very hard question,” she ponders. “I can only think about an example that I have been confronted with where there had been these RBMA workshops in Bucharest and a young DJ girl I was in touch with was like: ‘I don’t know if I should go alone…’ Yes, just push yourself, push buttons and do what you can! Discover those machines. I say this to underline the fact that there must be a safe space for everybody to have access to, because we are losing big talents by pushing them away from the scene.” Borusiade’s message is clear: if we provide a supportive and empowering environment, great things will grow from the seeds we sow.