History & Biography

With song titles like 'An Even Harder Shade Of Dark', 'I'm Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired', 'I've Seen The Light And It Is Dark' and 'What To Do But Cry?', Bristol, Avon, England-based, music concrete experimentalists the Third Eye Foundation attempt to articulate an unspecified dread. 'It's difficult to sum up in words,' Matt Elliott (b. 10 March 1974, Bath, Avon, England) has said about the meaning of his awesome recordings, 'That's why I make the music I do.' Despite Elliott's claim to be happiest on his own, the Third Eye Foundation's early releases notably included noise/sample contributions from Foehn's Debbie Parsons. Dark, confused and sleeved with an image of a dead fox, Semtex was one of the 90s most astonishing debuts. On tracks like 'Sleep', queasy, guitar-generated white noise was cut-through with edgy, incendiary drum 'n' bass breakbeats. More than one critique of the album suggested that the project's experiments with noise/breakbeats had pre-empted My Bloody Valentine 's probable new direction. The follow-up proper, Ghost - after a collection of Elliott's remixes of Amp, Crescent, Hood and Flying Saucer Attack - nullified the last vestiges of rock in the Third Eye Foundation's recordings. For Elliott, the sampler is the ultimate instrument and he applied the machine's processes to archaic European and African folk recordings, merging the mutated noise with unidentified scrapes, clicks and shrieks. Although still cut through with a faintly disturbing edginess, Little Lost Soul appeared to shun the (largely undefined) terrors that had informed previous recordings. Elliott may simply be becoming more technically proficient in the construction of his neo-drum 'n' bass beats and less perverse in the choice of his samples (seemingly including opera and French torch singers) but the seven-track album was less harrowing than previous works. Thankfully, this implied increase in mental stability did not correlate with a creative demise: the 11-minute centrepiece 'Lost' was one of Elliott's most evocative pieces.

(originally published at http://music.excite.ca/artist/biography/-213119)