By Charlie Brigden
Title: Ex Machina
Composer: Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury
The Film: Screenwriter and novelist Alex Garland makes his directorial debut with a tale about a coder who’s introduced by his boss to the next stage of artificial intelligence in the shape of cyborg Ava.
The Score: Mesmerising. Barrow and Salisbury have created a score which is at home equally in its melody than in its scene setting. Comparisons to scores like Cliff Martinez’s Solaris will come up, and while that does Barrow and Salisbury a bit of a disservice, they’re correct in terms of its quality. Effortlessly morphing from disquieting electronics and ambient soundscapes to a powerful and humanistic guitar, Ex Machina feels like it has a sense of technological superiority, but with something more sinister lurking beneath.
Distinguishing Features: ‘Ava’, with its clockwork wind-up doll feel. The unbelieveably great ‘The Test Worked’, disconcerting to start with but soon segueing into a wonderfully melodic line that ebbs and flows with synths until it finally kicks in with huge guitars, which get a reprise in the CUTS track ‘Bunsen Burner’ that ends the album.
Final Thoughts: Ex Machina is brilliant; great to listen to and very intelligently put together. Much of it feels like a dream and it flows really well, clocking in at a perfect fourty-four minutes. The physical versions include bonus tracks, and while they’ll make an interesting playlist once the chronological order is known through the film, the current album is undoubtedly the best length. Brilliant.
Ex Machina is out now on digital, with LP and CD coming soon from Invada Records