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]

Felix Laband – Whistling in Tongues [2006]

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]


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