Blush Response sounds like something straight out of Blade Runner, the 1982 science fiction thriller (loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?) featuring Harrison Ford. — and it is. It’s the name of an electronic band started by Joey Blush, a Miami-born musician, currently spending his time in NYC (the name Blush Response, of course, is borrowed from the now-classic movie).
Formed in 2009, Blush Response has matured significantly since their first album, We Are Replicants, was released in 2010. Over the span of four years, Joey Blush has been able to find his sound and cleverly hone it, leading to an inclusion for Fear Factory’s The Industrialist for synth programming in 2012.
His most recent full-length album, Tension Strategies, was released earlier this year under Tundra in the United States and under Basic Unit Productions in Europe.
When I asked Joey about his influences, he said that they are early wax trax era industrial (like COIL and Skinny Puppy) and 90s era warp records artists (like Autechre and Aphex Twin).
And you can clearly tell when you listen to, let’s say, VOICES in Tension Strategies.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/76054889″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”584″ height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]
I listened to Tensions Strategies and listened to it again, and again (and finding a personal favorite, DELUSIONAL) and you can feel the heavy-hitting bass pound your eardrums and the distorted vocals grind against the almost-mechanical beats that surround you with surprising authority.
I like creating sounds that fit into a space imagined in my head, soundtracks for a raw emotion, or a dystopian landscape. My sound developed through experimentation with modular synthesizers…using abstract rhythm and sound design to form a more interesting timbral palette for my songwriting. I believe there is as much value in changing timbre as there is in changing chords, and things such as repetition and evolution in sound produce drastic emotional results to an invested listener.
When I pressed Joey further, to see if I could dig at what really drives him, he had this to say:
I like sounds at the edge of melody that put you there, that have something to hold on to, but that are still so strange that you’re wondering how they were created.
He really takes his name to heart. The Voight-Kampff machine measures bodily functions such as respiration, heart rate, eye movement — and of course, blush response — in response to emotionally provocative questions. And what Joey is creating is emotionally provocative songs.
Check VAPOR4 out:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/118932729″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”584″ height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]
You can find Blush Response here.