Blush Response

“Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation, the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil…involuntary dilation of the iris.”


Here’s the first time we hear the main Blade Runner motif reimagined in another mode, a technique used at various points in the film by Vangelis to recontextualize the theme with darker connotations:

Here’s a comparison of the first four notes from the main theme moving from the original key of E major to D Phrygian, a mode of Bb major a tritone apart from E.

The semitonal movement from the Eb to D coupled with the drone underpinning gives this mode a pseudo-eastern flavour.


Below are some examples of Blush Response being sampled; often the dialogue from the scene where Deckard first meets Rachel at the Tyrell Corporation HQ is used rather than the music from this scene itself:

Undercover Business – The Replicant [1998]

D Bridge & Instra Mental – Blush Response [2008] (Not a sample, but influenced by Blade Runner)

Boozoo Bajou – Big Nick’s [2009]

MC Paul Barman – Hairy Moth Owl [2010]

Obba Supa – V.A.L.I.S [2012]

N.B The next piece on the soundtrack is Wait for Me – one of the few examples in the film with drums/percussion. I couldn’t find any examples of anyone sampling this section of the score, perhaps because of it’s inclusion of a full rhythm section.

Rachel’s Song

A lyricless vocal-led number with some very folky chord sequences. It includes what’s known as a tierce picarde, an unusual harmonic device accomplished by ending a minor chord sequence with a major chord:

The absence of drums (as with much of the score) makes it a prime candidate for sampling, as you can hear below:

Future Sound Of London – My Kingdom [1996]

Sub-Love – Coherent Flow [1993]

Fridge – Paradise [1998]

Zymotix – Rachel in Trance [1999]

K.A.S.T.A. – Hopera [2003]

Way Out West – Just Like A Man [2004]

The Nasty Boyz – Angel [2007]

Gorgeous Children – Sour ICE [2013]

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