Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Ex Machina" by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury

I love Geoff Barrow and his band Portishead - he's one of the most unique producers in electronic music history, if not pop history itself. A million years ahead of their time. Joined by Ben Salisbury to create the score for "Ex Machina", the two craft sounds that move and build, giving a pulse to the slow, dreamy sci-fi film. A lot of rich, deep arpeggiated analog synths appear and disappear, snaking their way through the middle of a murky atmosphere that spreads itself all the way across the stereo field. Multi-tracked clean guitar plays a melodic jangle, and builds into something darker. One of the final scenes is especially impressive, when the atmosphere grows steadily more ominous, culminating in a distorted sine wave. The compositional ideas themselves are not revolutionary, but they are executed so brilliantly that it doesn't matter, and anyway, what we want is a musical nod to the glorious history of sci-fi scores that is augmented by cutting edge ideas. And that's just what we get.

The film was made on a relatively low 15 million budget, but you would never know it considering the slick cinematography and expensive sounding score. I've enjoyed Alex Garland's novels, and his first turn as a director is promising. I had some problems with the film, but I won't go into those because I think people should see it and decide for themselves, which most people can do easily now that it's streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The poster above is from Michael Sapienza Designs, go to his Etsy shop to buy it immediately or risk living the empty life of not having a cool Ex Machina poster..

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