Boomkat Product Review:
20th anniversary reissue of Matt Elliott a.k.a. The Third Eye Foundation’s explorations in the hitherto mutually exclusive realms of post-rock, D&B and ambient noise circa 1996, coined after his prior, seminal work with Flying Saucer Attack and Movietone.
“In 1996, he finally released his first album as The Third Eye Foundation, Semtex, on his own label with support from Domino Recordings (the beginning of a long standing collaboration). It was recorded in a squat which he shared with Matt Jones from Crescent, on a 4 track recorder borrowed from Dave Pearce from Flying Saucer Attack. It was mixed with headphones way too loud which resulted in permanent hearing loss at around 3 khz. The result is brutal and uncompromising, and features a mix of noisy ripped up guitars and hectic drum machines with Debbie Parsons' vocals on some songs. Semtex is the antithesis of electronic dancefloor music and was to brand its style into Matt's discography where social unrest, loneliness, political confusion, anger and anti-establishment feelings are regular themes. The Third Eye Foundation have released 5 albums in total along with a large number of singles, EPs, collaborations and remixes with the last being the particularly well-named The Dark (2010, Ici D'Ailleurs).
The rest of the story is better known. Matt Elliott progressively gave up working on his laptop to develop his guitar playing and vocal skills which are now central to his “solo” discography starting with the hybrid The Mess We Made (2003), the impressive, large-scale Songs trilogy (2004-2009) or the more optimistic Only Myocardial Infarcation Can Break Your Heart (2013). However, the ghost of The Third Eye Foundation is never far away and Matt likes to reactivate the project from time to time. He has particularly remixed many bands and prestigious artists in the last 20 years including Tarwater, Blonde Redhead, Mogwai, Ulver, Yann Tiersen or Thurston Moore. The latter invited him to play under the Brooklyn Bridge alongside Sonic Youth in 1997.
For Semtex's 20th anniversary, this is more than a simple reissue. The original tracklisting will be enhanced with no less than 23 rare or previously unreleased songs, most of them recorded on cassettes between 1991 and 1997 and now especially remastered by Anders Peterson. This new edition is an opportunity to take a fresh look at Matt's long career. Above all, those archives which even the most obsessive collector cannot already fully own testify to The Third Eye Foundation's never-say-die and corrosive attitude.
You should play it loud, very loud... though there is a risk of ending up completely shattered by these three hours of music of rare scope and scale.”