Press for Ex Machina
- "Their all-encompassing mechanical melancholia is matched by ethereal ambience and frosty synth lines that occasional open up to child-like 8-note xylophone runs that themselves build into volcanic cacophonies. Their aggressively syncopated work burrows into you, gently inviting and yet totally, tonally haunting,"
Silver Screen Riot
- "The film's aural element, combining sound design by "Gravity" Oscar winner Glenn Freemantle with a score by Geoff Barrow of Portishead and Ben Salisbury, is calculated to keep us off balance and unsettled from beginning to end."
- "The score from Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Dolman’s Ben Salisbury is a haunting electronic mood rollercoaster, constantly in a state of heightening the emotions we’re getting from the story."
Film School Rejects
- "Ben Salisbury and ex-Portishead shoe-gazer Geoff Barrow, gleams with soothing mechanical melodies and rhythms. “Ex Machina” is as seductive as the people in it."
- "Kudos to Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury for constructing such an eerily appropriate musical accompaniment for an outside-the-box sci-fi thriller like this."
We Got This Covered
- "They have an incredibly high quality control level. I think they"re kind of amazing. What they do is they keep you honest, they are pretty fierce."
Alex Garland (interviewed in Gigwise)
- “Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury's score throbs with menace”
The Irish Times
- "The cinematography and the score are wonderful, adding to the atmosphere."
- "The sleek and visually appealing imagery meshes wonderfully with its synth-driven soundtrack,"
- “Composers Ben Salisbury and Portishead frontman Geoff Barrow contribute a bristling electronic score that swarms and simmers with the characters" own emotional surges."
- "The technical aspects are all top-notch, from production designer Mark Digby's flawless work through to an evocative score from Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury,"
- “Stunning visuals and thumping score, results in a fantastic intellectual science fiction film for the Google generation."
The Hollywood News
- “A great synth score"
London City Nights
- "This film has a fantastic soundtrack"
- “The cool synth soundtrack by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury…is the perfect backdrop to a story of this kind"
We Got This Covered
- “A throbbing, ominous score by newcomer Ben Salisbury and Portishead"s Geoff Barrow."
- "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
- "This sense of uncertainty, of boundaries being elided, is enhanced by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury's shimmering, glissading score, slithering liquidly around quarter-tones to heighten the tension while never falling into electronic cliché."
Sight and Sound
- “The soundtrack is phenomenal. I am a sucker for goos music in films and games, and I fell in love with the music. Composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow - who have worked together on more than one occassion - it is one of the film"s most enjoyable aspects personally."
- “A spine tingling score"
- "and the score, by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, will have you in knots of anxiety"
- "Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury scored the film and it perfectly matches the scenes, bringing the tension into almost every scene."
- "The score by Ben Salisbury and Portishead"s Geoff Barrow is also a thing of ominous, pulsating beauty"
Den Of Geek
- "Geoff Barrow (Portishead) and Ben Salisbury provide a score that doesn"t fall prey to an over-reliance on swelling strings or horn sections. While there are moments in which the music increases in volume during pivotal scenes that call for it, Barrow and Salisbury best deliver in their minimalist approach when creating beats of a steady pulse under a soulless red light, and in a climax that is based around their music box-esque composition. It would be lazy to compare them to the team of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but I"ll go ahead and do that anyway. Both pairs should have continued success in creating solid scores in cinema."
Consequence of Sound
- "The spare, chilly, synth-y score, by nature-doc composer Ben Salisbury and Portishead"s Geoff Barrow, follows suit, with suggestively throbbing themes designed to unnerve viewers and imply a lurking threat."
- "Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s score superbly pummels us psychologically as it booms eerily in the background as subjects of sexuality and identity are placed hand in hand with technology and explored with creeping delicacy."
- “An undercurrent of sinister suspicion perfectly complimented by the subtly unsettling score."
The Focus Pull
- “’Ex Machina’ arrives stateside, and besides being ‘the first great film of 2015,’ it's got a great score by Portishead member Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury."
- "One of the film"s strongest elements is its score by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and composer Ben Salisbury, which is a mix of electronic and more traditional compositions that help heighten the tension."
The Film Stage
- "Powered by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury's mood-enducing score, pulses in the background, accompanying the softly cinematic work of Rob Hardy behind the camera."
Rope Of Silicon
Press for the Ex Machina OST album
- "The Ex Machina OST is one for the ages and is done with a soul chilling aesthetic in electro-acoustic music…This is a must own item if you are into collecting soundtracks. It’s debatable if there will be a more important soundtrack for music culture this year."
Sound Colour Vibration
- "The superb and atmospheric 20 track score welds electronic and organic sounds, spanning the dark and thrilling, as well as the uplifting."
- "This score is a perfect example of something that enhances the film but is also just as effective if you have not yet managed to see it. These are not 30 second – one minute long cues that flit past you at a rapid pace, this is an album in the purest sense. Tracks are allowed to develop and a narrative is created. Storytelling of the highest order. In a time when people are already announcing that the album of the year has been released (come on now, stop it please) Ex-Machina will most certainly be up there when the votes are counted. Sensational. 9/10."
Louder Than War
- "Salisbury and Barrow successfully envisioned the film to pair with a perpetually tense soundtrack that hisses, pulsates and drones….And that is what Ex Machina does so well, fostering little pockets of mystery that grow into threatening omens. In this way, Ex Machina is unforgiving; even after an ephemeral ambush of thick, throbbing synths and chilling scrapes simmers down to a quiet glow, the thrill of its return is ominously felt."
Press for Drokk
- “A completely satisfying project on its own, but it's also so good that it practically cries out for a film to be made to fit its cues."
- "Jaw dropping..one of the heaviest and most intensely atmospheric records of the year, but fun with it…The album is a lovingly crafted ode to Judge Dredd, urban alienation, the cinematic sci-fi masterpieces of the late 70s and early 80s, electronic music of both the past and present, and it all hits with the weight of a cadmium steak tenderizer. What more could you want?"
- “Reader you have to get this album"
The Line of Best Fit
- "If they make ten more albums this good I will buy them all. The brooding 'Miami Gunman' and 'The Men Who Never Learned' are short masterpieces.. fearless, stark and unresolved…It's apparent that Barrow and Salisbury are the modern day kings of the synthesizer. All hail"
- "its various cues accompany a mind's-eye tour of the megalopolis magnificently well…Drokk is quite the engrossing, and sporadically discomforting, listen. Dredd would certainly approve"
- "Drokk is without a doubt the soundtrack to the John Carpenter or Ridley Scott Judge Dredd movie that existed only in fanboy fantasy…give Drokk a listen. It's the law."
Den of Geek
- "It’s got everything you expect (and what I, personally want ) from a score of a fictional future – synths, and not much else; drones, fuzz, pulses and endless bleak repetitious themes."
Antigohst Moonray records
- "While Barrow and Salisbury have painted a forbidding picture of the overall future, their own futures as producers with an ever-expanding, consistent repertoire looks assured."
- "The music is ice-cold, brutal and focused, a masterpiece of synthesiser worship. Barrow’s faultless taste and broad talent bestows Drokk with the unsettling, hypnagogic sheen of Portishead, and the driving motorik pulse of Beak>, while Salisbury’s ear for arrangement and filmic vision creates an uneasy but rapturous listen."
- "We heartily recommend that you wrap your lugs around 'Drokk', the darkly brilliant new rekkid by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury."
Time out music
- "As you’d expect from these fellas, the pacing and space are wonderfully judged and the tones and melodies are tasteful and detailed…Whether or not you’re a Dredd fan this is a pretty essential listen."
- “Dark, rich and compelling"
- "The tempo and atmosphere created by Barrow and Salisbury match the quality of all the great science fiction movies of the 70s and 80s and, at times, surpasses many of them… you are guaranteed an adrenaline-filled joy ride."
- "This is a rich, complex and conflicted soundtrack for the best comicbook movie never made."
- "The duo create a soundscape of interlocking melodies and rhythms which are completely absorbing and hypnotic. The sounds on this album are the most intense, huge, rounded tones you will hear on any record this year… DROKK does an incredible job of capturing the feel of Dredd's.. megalopolis."
- "Expertly sidestepping the hackneyed orchestral angle projects of this kind often employ, most of the album’s 19 tracks were created exclusively on the classic 1975 keyboard, the Oberheim 2 Voice Synthesizer…DROKK masterfully employs the listener’s imagination to render the need for visuals practically obsolete."
- "Deeply influenced by the 80s Vangelis and John Carpenter soundtracks, Drokk is a dark and atmospheric instrumental work…a completely immersive experience"
- "The album flows between sounding violent and claustrophobic and droning and expansive. Not just for fans of the 2000AD comics and film soundtracks, this is a great electronic album in itself."
Press for Congo
- “Ben Salisbury’s music nodded to John Barry and soared as easily as the bird flocks which came together as one entity to magically twist and turn against a brilliant blue sky”.
John Lyttle – Daily Express.
- “Amazing photography, a lush and informative commentary delivered by actor John Lynch against a great sountrack makes this programme a landmark.”
- “Ben Salisbury’s atmospheric music conveyed both the spirit and the danger of Congo rainforests and the behaviour of creatures in it. It is series like these that are the saviour modern documentary-making.”
Jaci Stephen – Daily Mail.
- “A rich musical treatment by Ben Salisbury completes the epic presentation.”
- “Some of the moments brought to the screen last night were awesome – and these sights we matched by some majestic music”
Tim Davey – Bristol Evening Post.
Press for Dolman
- "Dolman are Bristol duo Ben Salisbury (DROKK) and Scott Hendy (Boca 45) and on this, their debut release they not only manage to put their individual stamp on the album but manage to create a new sound that is exciting, original, and cinematic…Superb...Dolman (the name taken from a stand at the duo’s beloved Bristol FC ground) have smashed their influences together, creating a unique identity that incorporates Hip-Hop, Soul, Electro, and Drone whilst never once jumping on the cliche bandwagon….Dolman have created a very strong debut album that lets you create your own images and helps you drift into a world of noir. Great album."
Louder Than War
- "This is big music, widescreen in scope, extremely ambitious, and consciously ‘visual’ in its qualities; yet it also comes imbued with a very personal sense of place…Hendy and Salisbury are prodigiously talented, and their exercises in sonic muscle-flexing are just as impressive as the tangible ‘songs’ on offer."
Press for Nature’s Great Events Live
- "The whole, room-filling, multi-sensory headswim, though, owed everything to the evening's real stars - the crisply-suited composers Ben Salisbury and Barnaby Taylor who graciously took a well-earned two minutes of pre-encore stage time to democratically thank the rest of the unsung ensemble. Their sweepingly grandiose orchestral score thumped, thrummed and trilled, flooding the primal on-screen drama with adrenaline, tenderness and tension. Dazzlingly immersive. Gratifyingly Bristolian."
- "Seeing these creatures live, die and survive in their private space, together with top human music and the voice from the skies, was only ever going to be a magnificent evening’s entertainment."
Suit Yourself Magazine
- "The night revolved around six short films documenting the beautiful and uninhibited natural world with a soundtrack by the orchestra and narration by Sir David; so in effect watching a wildlife film, an incredible secret space, with all the other emotive components played before you, in real life. I keep emphasising ‘real life’ because whilst watching The Great Salmon Run, The Great Melt and The Great Feast etc., I had to keep looking down at the sprawling orchestra to check they were still there, playing every moment rising and falling with speeding hearts, to stop going into TV veg-mode, such was the perfect with which they performed."
- "As if having a national institution in our midsts was not enough, the series' award-winning soundtrack, by Ben Salisbury and Barnaby Taylor, was performed live by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by William Goodchild. While the stirring orchestral score filled the hall, Sir David bestrode the stage like a colossus. Elegant and eloquent, the presenter of such televisual gems as Life On Earth, The Life of Mammals and The Private Life of Plants, was a joy to behold, providing a pithy commentary without once detracting from the quite majestic pictures from Nature's Great Events and the wonderful live music." Bristol Evening Post
- "Frolicking cubs were underlined with jovial refrains on mallet percussion, mating Dragonflies with quasi-celestial twinkle, while Lions - near-starved and barely clinging to life - were met with emotive woodwind passages. It was the wide open vistas of the great African plains, grasslands and icy oceans though which saw the orchestra take flight, offering grandly sweeping gestures for strings and brass, while the larger, more ferocious sights gave rise to swathes of percussion. ‘A Heavy-weight Battle’ in Movement II (The Great Flood) was one such example, while the militaristic might of the final movement (The Great Tide) in which a ‘Super Pod’ of Dolphins, joined by sharks, whales and sea birds, mass an attack on millions of sardines off coast of South Africa, was a stunning display. It truly was a battering, with infectiously rhythmic percussive lines – performed with support from local percussionists – and was a brilliantly rousing finale to the piece.....The music and images of course went hand in hand, one supporting the other in all kinds of ways, and as often happens with this kind of performance, it was easy to forget you were in the presence of a live orchestra, so engaging were the images on screen......Natures Great Events really was Bristol’s great event and those of us lucky enough to attend were left in no doubt that this city really has a lot going for it right now. Congratulations to all involved and let’s hope Colston Hall can offer its stage to more events like this in the future."
Film Music and More Besides
Press for Malachai
- "The string-swooning ‘Monsters’ is a fine intro, not only to the album but to Ben Salisbury, the BBC composer, who creates a whole new gravitas to the band. ‘Anne’ then breaks it down with a funky rhythm and Magical Mystery styled vocal."
Bowlegs Modern Music Reviews
- "Return to the Ugly Side has a wide-screen scope, with ominous orchestral swells (courtesy of noted BBC composer Ben Salisbury) and thundering drum breaks that give Malachai a heretofore unheard force and sinister majesty…"
- "The opener ‘Monsters’ is great, like DJ Shadow - now he wasn’t from Bristol – and includes that sampled drum sound that says, ‘I don’t care that you know this is a sample, deal with it, every cymbal sounds exactly the same and there ain’t nothing you can do about it."
- "And the orchestration of opening number Monsters doesn’t disappoint; strings saw like the scary bit in Jaws, the tune hovers in splendid suspense and then a nice fat drum kit kicks in."
- "'Monsters', 'Monster', and 'Snake Eyes' feel as though they should soar in accompaniment to action on the silver screen."
- "Mind you, they've enlisted the services of their own Anne Dudley, composer Ben Salisbury, who until now was most famous for soundtracking a host of BBC wildlife programmes but here adds drama to a different breed of animal antics. Overture 'Monsters' conjures dark alley tension with Salisbury's sick (nauseous not nang) strings, and its later reprise 'Monster' weaves machine gun drums and chilling bass around those same strings, nastily underscoring the lines, “I don't want to be the monster/I don't want to be the one you run from/I should be who you run to”. Any listener would have second thoughts about that."
This is Fake DIY
- "Their watery trip-hop is more placid, and more Portishead-y than ever (check the gorgeously warped interlude Snake Eyes)"
- "Opener 'Monsters' mashes several songs into one, somehow managing to meld trip-hop, experimental electronica and sweeping orchestral sounds seamlessly. It sets the tone - and the bar - for the album as a whole."
- "You’d be pushed to find a more self assured introduction to an album than Malachai’s ‘Monsters’. Swelling with a regal crescendo of horns and strings, the thing sounds more like the score to a Michael Bay movie than anything else."
Drowned In Sound
- "This mentioned grandness is instantly apparent in ‘Monsters’ the introduction of Return to the Ugly Side. The stringed sequence has a cinematic emotion evoking quality, with the percussion led industrial sounds helping to break up its purity. They then reference one of the most chilling string sequences ever put to film in the Jaws like string stabs that flow out in to a plateau for the album to spring off."
- "With the epic, Inception soundtrack-like tracks of "Monsters" and "Monster" dividing the record into halves, Return lazes in stoner-rock meets trip-hop and does it in hypnotic style. …The second half does have its own moments of triumph, especially in the beautifully smooth and soothing "Snake Eyes," itself reminiscent of some of the greater soundtrack moments from Thomas Newman."
- "An Industrial approach provides an opening of the grandest scale as out of nowhere we’re greeted by what I can only describe as a film score that would make Hans Zimmer proud."
Press for The Life of Mammals
- “This film also combines the superb visuals with a brilliant score. The music, which is at times mournful, at times crackling with tension, and at times positively soaring, adds an inspiring sense of drama”.
- “BBC documentaries and outstanding scores go hand in hand. I loved the music for this series….Wonderful stuff.”
TV shows on DVD.com
- “The original music score for the series comes from Dan Jones and Ben Salisbury. In a word – superb! From the opening credits to the end credits, there is pure excellence all the way through each episode. The result is a significant contribution to arguably the finest natural history series ever presented.”
Ian Morris – Michaeldvd.
Press for Invada Invasion
- "In the main hall the excellent south-west based Emerald Ensemble offered a very different proposition. They accompanied the next three acts with some beautiful arrangements from composers Ben Salisbury and Elizabeth Purnell."
Moon and Back music.com
Press for Symphony in Bee
- "Symphony In Bee is that rarest of things - a breakbeat cut that could have a festival crowd aglow and would still sound right in a chillout set. The best strings we've heard in years make this track stand out from the crowd - big time. …one of the most beautifully widescreen ambient breakbeat tracks since Clubbed to Death."
Praise from producers
The Life Of Mammals (episode 3 - 'Plant Predators')
- "I think it is one of the best scores there has been on any programme I have narrated, doing exactly what one hopes music will do in the circumstances - evoking atmosphere, enhancing drama, delighting the ear yet not dominating the picture."
Sir David Attenborough
The Natural World - Cork, Forest in a Bottle
- "Ben, you perfectly identified with the style of the programme and composed music that was perfect in every way. The score enhanced the images, stimulated the emotions and supported the storyline throughout… Thank you for your superb and forever appreciated contribution!"
Paul Morrison - Producer
Life In The Undergrowth
- "We can safely say that we have never worked on a series where the music has had so much critical acclaim and been linked so closely with the success of the programmes. This is because your compositions and your choice of instruments were so brilliantly matched to the scale and emotions we were trying to tell."
The LITU production team.