Geoff Barrow, the British music producer, composer and founding member of the band Portishead, and his film co-composer partner Ben Salisbury have received incredible reviews for their score for the DNA/Universal hit movie Ex_ Machina, written and directed by Alex Garland and produced by Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich. Andrew Macdonald describes their film-scoring partnership as “setting an incredibly high bar of creative skill and integrity. Their music is brilliant, unique and truly cinematic”.
Earlier Geoff wrote the original score, and was music supervisor for graffiti artist Banksy’s Oscar Nominated documentary feature film Exit Through The Gift Shop. Emmy Nominated Ben’s more recent credits are the documentary feature Beyonce – Life Is But A Dream as well as the last three of the BBC’s David Attenborough’s Life Of … series.
Together, the pair also write and perform as electronic act Drokk, and in 2012 they released to universal acclaim “for it’s cinematic style” the album Drokk: Music Inspired By Mega-City One.
Portishead’s tracks have featured in more than 60 films and tv dramas and Ben has more than 100 film and tv composing credits to his name. They met playing football in Bristol where they both live and first worked together on a unique concert at Bristol’s famed Colston Hall venue featuring acts from Geoff’s own Invada Records label and the iconic Emerald Ensemble for which Ben did the arrangements. This led onto the Drokk project and then the film scoring partnership.
Here are some of the raves reviews for the Ex_Machina score
“Composers Ben Salisbury and Portishead frontman Geoff Barrow contribute a bristling electronic score that swarms and simmers with the characters’ own emotional surges.”Variety
“ … with stunning visuals and thumping score,…” Hollywood News
“Probably my favourite element of the whole film though was its score. Composed and written by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow the score fitted this film perfectly. It was so subtle at times which is exactly what it needed to be but it was so in keeping with the vibe of the film. On other occasions it was so in your face that you couldn’t miss it and you literally felt it go right though you. Both in these more subtle moments and in the more obvious ones the result was some of the best tension and suspense I have felt in the cinema for some time, really superb” hcmoviereviews
“An evocative score from Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury,” Screen Daily
“A delightful soundtrack“ … Garland pads the film out with a nerve shredding score, one which creates an impending sense of doom as the movie goes on.” The Cult Den