STM 239 - Blush Response

Blush Response Joey Gonzalez Music Artist
Photo from Blush Response's archive

Modern techno/EBM master Blush Response gives us an intense and unique nocturnal trip combining oldschool influences and fresh favorites.

Modern techno/EBM master Blush Response gives us an intense and unique nocturnal trip combining oldschool influences and fresh favorites.

Blush Response is the long-standing solo project of NYC musician and synth-addict Joey Gonzalez. Joey has been releasing music under this moniker for almost a decade, during which his output has been undergoing a process of constant evolution and change. In the beginning Blush Response was known for a sort of hybrid of EBM/Synth-pop, but discovering techno, and particularly artists on the heavier side of the genre (such as Orphx and Adam-X), was a revelation for Joey that seemed to free his musical instincts, allowing him to bless us all with dozens of filthy, razorsharp banging tracks released on such notable labels as Ant-Zen, aufnahme + wiedergabe, Total Black and others. Joey has a passion for figuring out technology and its sound to the point where it’s an extension of his brain - a sonic augmentation. In fact (although perhaps he wouldn’t admit it) at this point we can say that Joey is an extremely professional musician. This is obvious if you listen to his latest release, Infinite Density, which was fittingly released about a month ago by Sonic Groove (seems we’ve been repeating this last part often lately!). This latest Blush Response record repeats itself very little, the intensity and variance always keeping our attention glued to what’s around the corner. The usual mix of EBM/techno/industrial is still there, but this is certainly one of the most industrial of Joey’s releases, and one that has some of his most stunning tracks - ‘Aum Shinrikyo’ has got to be the only good reason for Asahara Shoko to receive a thank you note in prison.

Secret Thirteen Mix 239 from Blush Response is a record that reaches far and wide. Joey’s goal was to avoid the yet-another-techno-mix formula and instead he made a document containing influences as well old and new favorites across a number of styles and genres. This is a record situated quite firmly in the night, and due to its highly dynamic, picturesque and movie-like nature it feels like a trip down the nocturnal streets of a large city, searching for something but never engaging - constantly on the move. Needless to say, there is a number of Industrial/EBM classics as Joey pays respect to the roots of his musical upbringing, and there is also a thorough techno beatdown at the very end, but particularly the first half of the mix is littered with the unexpected. The tempo is unorthodox - including pronounced pauses like the closure of a chapter - but at the same time pleasant and uncumbersome. Tracks flow into each other in surprising, collage-like ways - something that can be appreciated in particular as Bad Sector drifts into Coil’s masterpiece The Dreamer is Still Asleep. Alfred Manessier’s L’emprisonnement is a good descriptor for the Blush Response mix: we could see the black of the bars as the arteries of a city at night, with life teeming inbetween, separated and all reachable for the determined.

01. Conrad Schnitzler - Metall 1 [Egg, 1978]
02. Keith Fullerton Whitman - Automatic Drums [Shelter Press, 2013]
03. Navicon Torture Technologies - 01.01.01.Ad. [Malignant Records, 2001]
04. Front Line Assembly - Toxic [Wax Trax!, 1991]
05. Aphex Twin - Shiny Metal Rods [Warp, 1994]
06. Dissecting Table - Naturalism [Triumvirate, 2000]
07. T.H.D. - State Of The World [23Db, 2009]
08. Hypnoskull - Uber Die Brutalitat [Ant-Zen, 2008]
09. Halv Dröm - Aurum [Total Black, 2017]
10. Pan Sonic - Valomuuntaja / Light-Transformer [Blast First, 2004]
11. Bad Sector - Orbiter [Waystyx, 2005]
12. Coil - The Dreamer Is Still Asleep [Chalice, 1999]
13. Front 242 - Mixed By Fear [Red Rhino Europe, 1991]
14. Sleep Clinic - Rosin [Chondritic Sound, 2013]
15. Nitzer Ebb - Come Alive [Mute, 1990]
16. Polyfuse - Push Pulled Buried [Polyfuse, 2012]
17. Doubting Thomas - Father Don’T Cry [Wax Trax!, 1990]
18. Skinny Puppy - Shore Lined Poison [Nettwerk, 1990]
19. :Wumpscut: - Soylent Green [Vuz Records, 1993]
20. Front 242 - Moldavia [Red Rhino Europe, 1991]
21. I Murdered - Sins [Mord, 2017]
22. Ptp - Show Me Your Spine [Rykodisc, 2004]
23. Vatican Shadow - They Lived A Closed Family Life [Hospital Productions, ?]
24. Blush Response - Tesselate [Sonic Groove, 2017]
25. Nicolas Bougaieff - Alternative Facts [Denkfabrik, 2017]
26. Ansome - Poison Your Body [Perc Trax, 2017]
27. Blush Response - Infinite Dread [Sonic Groove, 2017]

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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