Bookish ‘Sci-Fi’ Beats: Ex Machina OST


Sci-Fi Bookish BeatsMusic, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion. This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. 


Ex Machina (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Score Composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow


Listen to with:

A tense science fiction thriller

Such as:

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

The Ex Machina soundtrack is pure atmospheric ambience. Created by Ben Salisbury and Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, this is a soundtrack which celebrates electronic music; transporting you to another time, another place… and maybe even another world. Dark electronic synths fall across a backdrop of moody reverberating tension to create a score which could only have emerged as a result of pure science fiction inspiration, and which succeeds in creating an incredibly evocative backdrop for reading any science fiction thriller. The Ex Machina soundtrack is subtle and understated yet retains a flair for the dramatic that excites, ripples with tension and keeps the button pressed firmly on repeat.

From the opening track – The Turing Test which, with its distinctive combination of a rolling and beating melody interwoven with dark electronic synths, introduces one of the soundtrack’s main themes – this soundtrack establishes an unyielding atmosphere which remains undiluted throughout the entire score. Watching continues this ambient theme but is overlaid with an electronic beat which slowly transforms into a beautiful creeping melody before disappearing beneath a cloud of tension, cut through with a low and wavering bass.

Ava is an entirely different type of track. There is a certain innocence which permeates the background of tension and the melody is reminiscent of the tune from a musical jewellery box. This same melody is echoed in other tracks such as The Test Worked, a piece which is saturated in gentle ambience until the score’s other main theme – a rousing and repeating electronic melody – cuts in. Skin also features echoes of this ‘jewellery box’ theme before transforming and intensifying until the gentle beat becomes a pounding, climactic finale. Out, which is one of the score’s stand-out tracks, plays with this same gentle tone but transforms it into fast-paced and melodic electronic number.

Falling is an incredibly beautiful track which is a combination of atmosphere, gentle melodies and intensifying tension which reaches a pounding and dramatic climax. This tension is an essential characteristic of the entire soundtrack and, in tracks such as Hacking / Cutting and I Am Become Death, is intensified and entwined with ambience, rhythmic beats and almost discordant sections, which gradually build the pace until cutting out to a whining reverberating chord. Bunsen Burner, a track by Cuts, uses the score’s electronic theme to create a tense and sweeping action track which creates a triumphant finale to phenomenal score.

This is a soundtrack which impresses with its subtle drama and tense atmosphere. If you’re looking for an ambient soundtrack which echoes the character of a moody science fiction thriller, then Ex Machina may just be the perfect score.

Favourite tracks

04 – Falling

Top track for action

10 – Bunsen Burner

Top track for tension

06 – Hacking / Cutting

Top track for emotion

09 – Out

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If you like the Ex Machina soundtrack, you may also want to try The Machine soundtrack

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Bookish ‘Sci-Fi’ Beats: Oblivion OST


Sci-Fi Bookish BeatsMusic, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion. This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. 


Oblivion (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Score Composed by Anthony Gonzalez & Joseph Trapanese

Original Music by M83


Listen to with:

An action-packed sci-fi epic

Such as:

Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan

Welcome back to another week of Bookish Beats. We’ve had a little break from this feature whilst I attempt to organise myself but this week we’re back with a vengence with the Oblivion OST.

This soundtrack is the result of a phenomenal collaboration between director Joseph Kosinski and the French electronic group M83. Following the success of the Tron Legacy soundtrack, in which Kosinski drafted in Daft Punk to create the score, the Oblivion director again went down the alternative route and selected M83 to score the soundtrack alongside Joseph Trapanese.  M83 have succeeded in creating a powerfully tense and mesmerising score which compliments the movie whilst being a stunning album in its own right.

With nods to traditional classically composed soundtracks, M83 have created an electronic symphony which flows effortlessly from one track to another and provides the perfect backdrop to any science fiction novel. Opening up with Jack’s Dream, a short piece which feels at home in a science fiction epic – grand, slow and powerful – and flowing on to Waking Up, a brilliant, slow building track which introduces the main theme present throughout the OST; this soundtrack builds to fantastic heights and provides a full complement of tracks for action, for atmosphere and tension, and for haunting emotive scenes.

Atmospheric tension is a common theme throughout this soundtrack where discordant sounds and repetitive beats create pieces which wouldn’t be out of place on a game soundtrack. Tech 49Odyssey Rescue and Losing Control are all slow building, tense tracks which reach powerful and often haunting crescendos, Radiation Zone uses elements from the main theme and overlays it with a powerful drum solo, and Temples of Our Gods uses choral pieces to give a tense track an element of grandeur.

The Oblivion OST also presents a number of impressive action tracks with Earth 2077, which weaves an electronic theme throughout this epic and all encompassing symphonic number, and Canyon Battle, a similarly tense and powerful action track which uses electronic synth melodies to get your heart pumping and succeeds in creating one of the best action tracks I’ve heard in a long while.

But this soundtrack is not without its truly haunting an emotive pieces either. You Can’t Save HerRaven RockStarwaves are all incredibly beautiful and emotive tracks, and Ashes of Our FathersUndimmed by Time, Unbound by DeathI’m Sending You Away and Fearful Odds are all downbeat chillout numbers which use haunting renditions of the main theme to create a perfect combination of tension and emotion. Something which is similarly found in the final track of the album, Oblivion, performed by Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør.

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to a science fiction epic then you could do much worse than the Oblivion OST. The electronic overlays give it a true science fiction feeling making it the perfect backdrop to a good book.

Favourite tracks

02 – Waking Up

Top track for action

08 – Canyon Battle

Top track for tension

07 – Losing Control

Top track for emotion

04 – Starwaves

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Sci-Fi Month: November 2015


Sci Fi Month 2015


| Welcome to Sci-Fi Month – November 2015 |

Welcome to Sci-Fi Month here at Books by Proxy, hosted by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow! Yes the month is already under way but I’m bending space and time to bring a whole host of fabulously futuristic science fiction goodness before November draws to a close! Expect lists and reviews aplenty as I plunder my shelves for books, movies and games of apocalyptic proportions – I only wish I’d hopped on board sooner!

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| Sci-Fi Month Reads |

Only a few to get started with but if I I have time this list is likely to expand!

SciFi Month Reads

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham | Permutation City by Greg Egan | Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow | Down Station by Simon Morden

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| Sci-Fi Reviews to Get You Going |

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Armada by Ernest Cline

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Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan

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| Soundtracks to Science Fiction |

Taken from the Bookish Beats feature here at Books by Proxy

Inception by Hans Zimmer

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elysium

Elysium by Ryan Amon

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Royksopp3

The Inevitable End by Röyksopp

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The Machine by Tom Raybould

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Have you got anything exciting planned for Sci-Fi Month? If you want to join in, hop on over to Rinn Reads or Over the Effing Rainbow and add yourself to the list!