Ex Machina (Soundtrack)


Having not yet seen Ex Machina I'm probably not the best placed person to review the film's soundtrack as I've absolutely no clue what any of the visual accompaniments to the score are. However, perhaps it is entering with this open mind that means I'm best placed to review the music without any emotional bias based around the accompanying scenes.

Or I might just be talking rubbish.

Nevertheless, there's no denying that listening to this soundtrack has made me incredibly intrigued about the film – the opening track 'The Turing Test' builds so slowly and calmly that my curiosity is piqued within the first minute and I'm already hungry to find out what further dark delights lay in store. It all seems a little full of despair, the electronic instruments used heavily in the score lend themselves to what I believe is the film's key plot and it feels as though this could be a BBC Radiophonic Workshop production, it has all the class and subtlety of their offerings and neatly incoporates the latest technology to ensure that the music being made sounds overwhelmingly ahead of its time. This is the side of electronic music that really does enthrall me.

One of my personal highlights is 'Ava' as the calming nature seems lullaby-esque, suggesting an innocence that most of us have long since lost. It sends a calming sensation through your body and it wouldn't be totally unwarranted to begin reminiscing about your childhood – though the track's running time of a little over 2 minutes means that you're unlikely to suffer any prolonged flashbacks or instant fits of tears, unless you're a particularly emotional person.

After giving my handkerchief a thorough rinse I returned to the soundtrack, eager to hear which directions my brain would be drawn into. So what was I presented with? Well, much the same really – which was hardly a surprise. The consistency of this minimalist approach is to be admired and the way that the soundtrack is able to evoke such strong emotions through even the slightest of modulations show that its creators are clearly well aware of the glorious power hidden inside each and every sound. Even the more industrial 'Hacking/Cutting' never strays too far from the low-key approach that the music takes – though the tail-end of 'The Test Work' seems significantly more vivid, a welcome introduction of a slightly different form of intensity.

As the number of musical elements starts to rise towards the end of the main soundtrack, closing track 'Bunsen Burner' by CUTS brings the main portion of the score to a warranted epic conclusion. Sure I might not have seen the film yet, but the soundtrack has taken me to places that I never could have imagined. Even with my warped mind.

Ex Machina OST is out now.