Aril Brikha ‎– Ex Machina

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Tracklist

Last One 8:04
More Human 7:03
Lady 707 6:40
Leaving Me 10:19
Gres 6:45
Room 337 7:04
Contact 8:25
Kind Of Nitzer 5:44
Ex Machina 6:41
Kept Within 7:38
Anna's Theme 1:46

Versions (3)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
PFG097CD Aril Brikha Ex Machina(CD, Album) Peacefrog Records PFG097CD UK 2007 Sell This Version
PFJPCD-001 Aril Brikha Ex Machina(CD, Album) Soundscape (15) PFJPCD-001 Japan 2007 Sell This Version
PFJPCD-001 Aril Brikha Ex Machina(CD, Album, Sam) Soundscape (15) PFJPCD-001 Japan 2007 Sell This Version

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creepytapes

creepytapes

January 18, 2015
referencing Ex Machina, CD, Album, PFG097CD
Why has this never been released on vinyl? Tragic! 'Leaving me' as far as I know isn't on any of the 12's, such a shame...what a track.
techsoul

techsoul

February 22, 2010
edited over 8 years ago
referencing Ex Machina, CD, Album, PFG097CD
"Last One" and "More Human" share the same rhythmical elements and sounds. This also applies for "Lady 707" and "Leaving Me", both running on what is basically the very same drum machine beat.

Now - Aril's focus as a producer clearly isn't the drum section. No doubt he knows how to deliver average solid beats, but he's just far more inventive when it comes to melodic structures, harmonic developments, sweeping filters and arrangement in general. And while the beats in question work well for 7 minutes, they become pretty dull after 15 minutes or more of continuous exposure.

As much as I like the idea of showing different takes on similar structures - in my opinion, putting not only one, but two (!) pairs of rhythmical "twin tracks" directly besides each other AND doing so at the very beginning of the album might just be what kept "Ex Machina" from getting the attention it indeed deserves.

Although the repeated beats are both accompanied by different sequences, sounds and harmonics when we get to hear them for the second time in a row, they still manage to trigger a bit of disappointment. When "More Human" reveals it's similarity to "Last One", the first time listener might still be hoping that Aril isn't already running out of ideas when the album has just kicked off. But then it happens again, with "Leaving Me" and its predecessor "Lady 707" - and while prelistening at the record store, at this point I myself repeatedly decided not to buy "Ex Machina" because it appeared to suffer from a lack of inspiration at first.

Of course that's not the case. But in fact, those recurring and pretty average rhythm patterns appear even more bewildering when at the same time we can hear Aril do what we love him for - creatively building his tracks, then deconstructing them, again and again, adding short breaks every now and then whilst twiddling his synths's filter knobs like there's no tomorrow. In doing so, he relentlessly demands the listeners full attention.

This might just be the reason why being exposed to the very same drum programming twice in two different tracks comes across as such a big anomaly. It breaks the flow and keeps the album from moving further on, as it is not just one sound, but a whole set of sounds being recycled without any variation to the way they were used just minutes ago - while everything else around is constantly changing and evolving.

As soon as the tracks stop referring to their forerunners, "Ex Machina" suddenly becomes the album it secretly is. I suggest to listen to the album using the following track order, which places the tracks initially indexed as 1 and 4 at the end of the album:

1 More Human 7:03
2 Lady 707 6:40
3 Gres 6:45
4 Room 337 7:04
5 Contact 8:25
6 Kind Of Nitzer 5:44
7 Ex Machina 6:41
8 Kept Within 7:38
9 Leaving Me 10:19
10 Anna's Theme 1:46
11 Last One 8:04

It might be pretty bold to simply turn an albums tracklist upside down and suggest it hasn't been done well. However, my only reason for suggesting a different listening order is to point out one simple fact - every track on here is beautifully crafted, emotional electronic music that deserves to be heard.

This not a hastily written review, by the way - I'm actually listening to (and writing about) "Ex Machina" since I finally bought it this afternoon...
stuarte

stuarte

October 27, 2009
referencing Ex Machina, CD, Album, PFG097CD
Long time since his first LP and what memorable one that was. Departure in Time is one of the finest Detroit albums to not come out of the D, without a doubt.
On his sophomore effort has delivered are incredibly good album, however it does not compare to Departures.
To call some of it trance would be misleading, as trance has become a caricature of what it was, the music is definitely hypnotic in parts though. In the best possible way.
Aril is a master technician and totally excels and giving his music depth, drive and emotion. It really is top drawer stuff in most places. Check Leaving Me and Kept Within for Brikha at his former best.
Superb album then but lacks in parts some of the refinement and incredible subtlety of it's predecessor. Will be considered a classic for sure and already fetching in excess of 30 euros on Discogs.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.