Thursday 14 August 2014

Review: Blush Response – 'Desire Machines'

'Desire Machines'

Following on from the stellar single/EP 'The Drift', the new full-length Blush Response album 'Desire Machines' arrives to consolidate Joey Blush's position as arguably one of the most exciting electronic musicians around today. Blending pure experimentalism with unashamed dance potential, Blush and his army of modular synths pull together glitch, ambient, industrial, ebm and electronica influences to create a unique, intelligent and wholly approachable sound.

Kicking off in brave fashion with a slowly building six-minute instrumental 'Idoru', the album immediately throws a curve-ball before enticing the listener in with the glitchy but dance friendly 'Breathe'. Each track balances funkiness with quirkiness. Complexity with club potential. In some cases such as the afore mentioned 'Breathe', along with 'Lovers' and 'Dreams' the experimental elements are more subtle. Whereas the likes of 'Reasons', 'Common Breed', and 'The Drift' he pushes them to the fore to counterpoint the infectious melodies and build up a more challenging but enjoyable piece.

The production can be compared to the recent output from Alec Empire and How To Destroy Angels. The interaction of the lighter more melodic elements and the sheer noise is handled with care so that neither one overpowers the other in the mix. The overall production is crisp, clean and once again brings that analogue orientated sound right up to date for modern consumption.

At only nine tracks in total, the album leaves you wanting more. Which is always a good thing. There are no tacked-on remixes for the sake of it, and the result is a complete and self-contained statement. Each track, even the instrumentals, have the innate dance quality that makes this album appeal to the casual listener... but once it has hold of you, the sheer mastery of his art on display from Blush will get you hooked.

'Desire Machines' burns bright and fast. It's a strong album that is well constructed and performed and provides some of Blush's strongest songs yet that will undoubtedly lift his profile as a musician and composer.

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