Third Eye Foundation/Matt Elliott

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I’m really looking forward to Matt Elliott’s new album “The Mess We Made” which comes out this week on Domino. I’m not sure if it is being released only in the UK to start, but it is one that I am going to track down. So far, I haven’t had a chance to check out the sound previews of the record, but I am curious to see what he will do working with a vocalist.

Third Eye Foundation is some of my favorite electronic music. I don’t know where or when the samples he twists and uses come from but they sound so otherworldly and ancient. I think Elliott/TEF has a unique sound.

A few questions:

Has anyone heard the two Hood records that he produced?

I’ve never been able to find CD’s of “Semtex” or “In Version” by TEF, are they worth seeking out?

If you have heard “The Mess We Made”, what do you think?

earlnash, Monday, 21 April 2003 15:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

im kinda ambivalent about quite a bit of his stuff, but you must check out the 'Universal Cooler' 7", which samples genius/gza, quite eerie

gareth (gareth), Monday, 21 April 2003 15:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Has anyone heard the two Hood records that he produced?

If they're the ones I'm thinking of, yes, but then again I've heard pretty much all their albums. I know he did Rustic Houses, which is phenomenal, but what's the other?

I’ve never been able to find CD’s of “Semtex” or “In Version” by TEF, are they worth seeking out?

Semtex is an absolute do-not-pass-go must-have. "Sleep" is a mindblowing opener, for a while there it was what I was hoping the MBV jungle material would resemble (guessing away madly as to what that WOULD sound like, of course).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 21 April 2003 16:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The two Hood records he produced are "Rustic Houses, Fourlorn Valleys" and "The Cycles of Days & Seasons".

I've been curious about Hood for awhile, but the only one I have ever seen is their last album.

Another group in this general area I have been curious about, but never heard is Movietone. The only album I have seen by them is the one that is on Drag City.

earlnash, Monday, 21 April 2003 16:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I remember "Little Lost Soul" as being great, very beautiful.

Nick A. (Nick A.), Monday, 21 April 2003 16:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Movietone have three albums told, and two of them are on Drag City. Both of those are grand, but scare up the debut on Planet, if you can find it. I ramble on about the first two albums via the links here.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 21 April 2003 16:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i have and really like,the cycle of days and seasons,although i didn't know it was produced by him,that might explain why i like it so much but never really got into the most recent one...

as for third eye foundation releases,little lost soul is one of the most incredible albums i have ever heard,really really eeirly beautiful...
kind of a similar feel to the dirty three and murcof...
i also have the remix album,which has some great stuff,(the first track,the amelie thing,is brilliant)

i'm really glad to hear he's releasing more stuff...
i also don't know why i haven't got all his stuff already...

robin (robin), Monday, 21 April 2003 16:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i have a major soft spot for tef. he has a way with atmosphere that put a lot of other electronica to shame at the time those records came out.

there's some compilations that just came out with a lot of older hood material on there... has some info on that. that might be a good starter...


msp, Monday, 21 April 2003 16:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

while i don't celebrate his entire ouvre, i worship lost, as well as his remixes of yann tiersen's la dispute (the orig. version garnered widespread notice as featured in the soundtrack for the french film 'amelie') and blonde redhead's four damaged lemons. i am excited to hear his latest offerings. any internet pre-releases/leaks?

j.a.e., Monday, 21 April 2003 20:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I thought Ned would mention "Sleep" - it's an amazing track, to be sure. I always hear melodies in it that aren't there. Tremendous.

He gets mad props from me for producing Hood's excellent "Useless" single, which I think is one of the greatest indie records of all time.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 21 April 2003 23:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

domino has samples on their website, it is very movietone-ish actually. the 'semtex' single is great too.

keith (keithmcl), Tuesday, 22 April 2003 01:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Semtex is an absolute do-not-pass-go must-have.

ned = rightest. _in version_ isn't really essential, but has some nice stuff on it. a little too beholden to the bristol sound of the time or something.

the _semtex remixes_ 12" on domino was pretty great, but it was kind the beginning of elliott forsaking the guitar. which made me sad. but everything up to and including _ghost_ is pretty great.

your null fame (yournullfame), Tuesday, 22 April 2003 02:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i picked up "you guys kill me" today, and it's very good. really eerie, it sounds EVIL. i think i may pick up "the mess we made" when it comes out...

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 2 May 2003 16:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i've listened to "the mess we made" a few times now and it's pretty fucked up. piano/acoustic guitar/horns, basically, strung through the same kind of processing he did in his third eye foundation material. except the music here is more like jacques brel ballads played at 16 rpm through 10 feet of dirty water. it definitely has a 'i regret EVERYTHING' kind of air about it. two songs have beats.

i think i like it.

your null fame (yournullfame), Friday, 2 May 2003 20:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

just copped it. so far beautiful. it's an i.v. drip through my headset. my eyes close and i am rowing through the set of les cité des enfants perdus.

j.a.e., Sunday, 11 May 2003 04:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i'm enjoying the new matt elliot record a lot. it isn't much like the third eye album i have (beats don't feature very often), but it's very strange and beautiful. could finish high in my end of year list...

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 16 May 2003 21:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Matt Elliot album is pretty incredible. WEirdly, since this sort of stuff is right up my alley, I had never heard ANY TEF stuff until this week when a friend said, "well if you liked the last hood record you should check it out," and since the the last hood album is one of my favorite albums ever, I did. I didn't realize he did rustic and cycle though until now.
The mess we made is significantly more stripped down and, dare I say, almost gothy compared to the TEF stuff I've heard (mainly Lost). The review on Brainwashed pretty much nails it.

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Saturday, 17 May 2003 17:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

reading all the love letters on this thread, remembered suddenly 'bout a comp. i have with a Bump & Grind vs Third Eye Foundation track, "Pan Odyssey", and searched it out sounds pretty engaging, comes from the late 90s, but appears to be more of a TEF remix of some Bump & Grind thingy (rather than vice versa)
anbody know if this collab yielded more music?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 18 May 2003 01:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

mess we made - pleasant enough but doesn't really *engage* me it seems like so many kurt weill / nick cave / jacques brel sonic signifiers stapled together with the sketchiest of tunes. i like it but i wouldn't say it's great. kinda greatly executed miserable surface but lacking a miserable substance beneath that. i dunno...

bob snoom, Sunday, 18 May 2003 09:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

listened to little lost soul again last night,it really is one of the best albums i've ever heard
there's so many layers of sound that you notice different things each time

robin (robin), Monday, 19 May 2003 18:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
"In Version" needs more love. It's worth it just for the 11-minute version of "Superconstellation", which is by far the greatest thing Crescent have ever had associated with their name. "Eternity" is also great (although perhaps no better than Amp's original).

And one more thing:


("Ghost" is my favourite TEF album, but have changed my mind about this a lot. Only "You Guys Kill Me" has NOT been my favourite at some point)

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 16 October 2004 16:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I need to get back into all this again. I have just about everything he's ever done.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 October 2004 16:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i eventually decided that "the mess we made" wasn't very good at all...still love "you guys kill me" though.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Saturday, 16 October 2004 16:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Kilian, I've been heading in the opposite direction re: "The Mess We Made". I've listened to it a lot in the last week (hence the thread revival) and I'm now convinced it's at least the equal of "Little Lost Soul" (but not up there with "Ghost" or "Semtex" yet).

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 16 October 2004 17:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

new third eye foundation album has appeared. on first listen, pretty excellent. had no idea that a new third eye foundation record was even a possibility.

keythhtyek, Monday, 11 October 2010 01:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

really fantastic actually.

keythhtyek, Monday, 11 October 2010 03:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Whoa, did not expect this!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 11 October 2010 04:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

I definitely didn't expect this ... and this might be the best TEF album too.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Has this leaked, or are you guys getting advance copies? Can't find it anywhere.

A brownish area with points (chap), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

Mine is a leaked copy.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Got it. This is some deep and eerie music.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 15 October 2010 13:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Bit much with a mild hangover in fact.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 15 October 2010 13:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Just hearing this for the first time... this is awesome.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

Must get this

"Kiss Players♥" (DJP), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 05:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

on spotify!

e.g. delete via naivete (ledge), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 09:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

omg this is intense

e.g. delete via naivete (ledge), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 09:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

what's on spotify? the first lp?

koogs, Wednesday, 15 December 2010 10:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

The new one, "The Dark". Tempted to say album of the year, after one listen. Seriously heavy and melancholic.

e.g. delete via naivete (ledge), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 11:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Can't listen to it through in one go, I get bored.

A brownish area with points (chap), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 12:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

this is GORGEOUS

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 12:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

<3 u ILX

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 12:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

<3 u 2 Spotify haha

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 12:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

holy god. this is...wonderful

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 12:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

d/ling now, have always liked his stuff. he used to work in an excellent record shop called Revolver on the Triangle in Bristol. When it shut in the late 90s, rumour was that they chucked all there excess stock in a skip.

Neil S, Wednesday, 15 December 2010 13:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

I thought this couldn't get better than the first two tracks, then I heard Closure. Holy mother of god.

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 14:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Dälek should ask to sample the whole of that track and rap over it, btw

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 14:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

love the way it builds over the whole first two tracks, from 'bog standard' TEF to 'omg i am being crushed under an ocean of sadness'.

e.g. delete via naivete (ledge), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah srsly, at first I was all 'this is some neat dark electro' and then halfway thru part 2 I was basically reduced to 'my god this is the end of days'

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

only clicked on this thread coz I dimly remembered the dude having produced Hood's two best (by fucking MILES) albums

schlomo replay (acoleuthic), Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

The new one, "The Dark". Tempted to say album of the year, after one listen.

It's my album of the year, and my reaction was the same as yours the first time I heard it. It had been years since I was so floored by an album on the first listen.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Okay, I'm liking this whole dub-rovnik thing.

O Permaban (NickB), Friday, 17 December 2010 10:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

really good album indeed

sisilafami, Saturday, 18 December 2010 15:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Quite wonderful to hear this, and as an immediate followup to the These New Puritans album at that. Sonically dissimilar but crucially allied in terms of uneasy mood...

Ned Raggett, Monday, 20 December 2010 04:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

hey this is still album of the year you guys

acoleuthic, Friday, 24 December 2010 17:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

alright guys, can we do a quick Third Eye Foundation C/D, S/D for a new listener & potential fan? for some reason i just found out abt this guy's origins w/ flying saucer attack (obv. awesome & untouchable) so must explore TEF now

- what do i seek out first?

- what's essential?

- is there anything i should avoid/save for later?

- etc.

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Friday, 11 February 2011 22:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Ghost" and "The Dark" would make for a good bookendish overview, I think. Much of the other stuff is either too wishy washy shoegaze for me or goes too far in the other direction with the masturbatory breakbeat stuff. Hes's at his best when he finds the middle.

the only tastemaker (noz), Friday, 11 February 2011 22:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ghost is great and all but good lord you have to start with Semtex.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 11 February 2011 22:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Still one hell of a way to start a career, this:

Ned Raggett, Friday, 11 February 2011 22:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think the Semtex 12", which is different from the Semtex album, is better.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh and I agree that to get a quick and dirty introduction, Ghost and The Dark would be the best way to go. You can tell from there how much deeper you want to get -- it's all good.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

ned: yesss that is awesome

incidentally, i ended up getting Little Lost Souls, which i found for $2 in one of the local used bins on my way home. played 3 or 4 tracks, digging it so far -- vaguely shoegazy textures, dubby basslines,, breakbeats that sound a bit like autechre stoned/on downers, and disembodied female vocal wails looped over the top at various points. not mindblowing, but pleasantly right up my alley.

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Saturday, 12 February 2011 01:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

Little Lost Souls is my favourite of the TEF albums I've heard I think. For all the praise The Dark has been getting, I find it quite a slog to listen to.

Inevitable stupid dubstep mix (chap), Saturday, 12 February 2011 02:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Same for the track Ned just posted. Interesting, but not actually enjoyable for me. Obviously I'm a lightweight when it comes to such things.

Inevitable stupid dubstep mix (chap), Saturday, 12 February 2011 02:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

good lord you have to start with Semtex.

YES. Then Ghost. And the Semtex Remix 12" in between, like Marmite.

cette villes est en enfer and shit. (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Saturday, 12 February 2011 04:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've briefly investigated this dude's other stuff but as things stand it's stone-cold clear to me that The Dark is his masterpiece. As an album experience it's...nigh-on perfect, the use of sound and narrative here is exquisite. Haven't heard Semtex yet, however - am fully prepared to believe that one's on a similar level, and of course the others may grow on me...

acoleuthic, Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

fsa were far better

itv digital manqué (nakhchivan), Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

why don't you go and namecheck them in a song about an ILM poll

acoleuthic, Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

the dark is alright, nice sound design etc but v much in a l8 90s premillenial angst art-junglist vein that seems kinda played

itv digital manqué (nakhchivan), Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Although one cannot oppose to Ghost and Semtex, I do really like the territory Elliott veered into with Little Lost Soul and I Poo Poo On Your Juju, both fantasticly subtle dark albums.

But then I love all of 3EF's albums equally as much, except for The Dark maybe, which is great but not as sublime as the previous albums. Maybe it's different if you've heard that one first, like LJ has. I wouldn't call it his masterpiece though ~ the man's whole discography is one big masterpiece.

La descente infernale (Le Bateau Ivre), Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

fyi nakh and anyone else, yr presence and neoclassical avant-awesomeness is v much desired here: Rolling dilettante convocation 2011

clearly I need to give the other albums a closer listen! even the one with the worst album-name ever. like, worse-than-chocolate-starfish bad.

acoleuthic, Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

The new album is incredible.

djh, Monday, 2 January 2012 23:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

does he sing?

Quoth the raven "Nevermind" (ledge), Monday, 2 January 2012 23:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

A new new album, like not-The Dark?

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 January 2012 00:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's a matt elliott record, no?

keythhtyek, Tuesday, 3 January 2012 01:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

Matt Elliott - The Broken Man

Track here:

Yes, singing.

djh, Tuesday, 3 January 2012 07:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

I don't, or I shouldn't at least, have anything in principle against electronic intrumentalists suddenly getting all singer-songwritery, but "one mans analysis of his own descent reflecting the frustrations and sadness that touch us all at some point" doesn't really sound like an enticing prospect and when it ends up just being "this is how it feels to be alone" intoned repeatedly in a funereal bass, then - and speaking as a miserablist who would happily listen to "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me" on repeat - this one man's analysis really adds nothing new to the picture, and the touches of TEF ethereal electronics and the trusty bowed saw beneath aren't enough to tempt me to listen further, I'm afraid.

Quoth the raven "Nevermind" (ledge), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 13:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

I must admit I've barely played this since January 3 but it is sounding magnificent right now.

djh, Monday, 29 October 2012 20:08 (six years ago) Permalink

Still love The Dark - listen to it all the time, especially if I need to get into a writing zone. (And yet I am left totally cold by the stuff he does under his own name.)

scott pgwp (pgwp), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 03:54 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

just occurred to me that Closure taps into the same part of my brain as Cap.IV - and while the latter is better, the former is still wonderful

Ƹ༑Ʒ (imago), Saturday, 4 October 2014 17:12 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Hadn't clocked that.

There's an expanded version of Semtex due soon (most of the extra tracks seemingly as downloads).

djh, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 19:09 (three years ago) Permalink

woo. underlooked classic imo. and seemingly out of print for a while (tried to find one after my copy got trapped in a closing cd player tray and scratched)

koogs, Thursday, 7 January 2016 10:50 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

20th anniversary edition of Semtex--adds 23 (!) bonus tracks to the original 6.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 22 January 2016 12:59 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

tangenttangent, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:54 (two years ago) Permalink

Via his Facebook:

Damn! Once again I forgot to spam for the release of my new album! So, yeah, I've got a new album out available from my wonderful independent label ici d'ailleurs… If you like what we do please help us to continue making music (Third Eye Foundation is the next project in the pipeline)

tangenttangent, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:57 (two years ago) Permalink

Christ, this gets intense

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:28 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Pleasantly surprised to find a new TEF album released today, Wake the Dead:

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 9 February 2018 15:00 (one year ago) Permalink


Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:04 (one year ago) Permalink

That is... unexpected, after so many Elliott records. Going to save this one for tonight.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:06 (one year ago) Permalink


Simon H., Friday, 9 February 2018 15:08 (one year ago) Permalink

holy shit the way this has begun

imago, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:18 (one year ago) Permalink

he seems to have synthesised his various interests into one terrifying whole

imago, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:21 (one year ago) Permalink

I find myself wondering how to buy an *un-signed* version in the UK unless anyone can vouch that Matt has lovely handwriting.

djh, Saturday, 10 February 2018 14:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Wouldn't count on it.

This is one hell of an album though. That bass!

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 12 February 2018 19:16 (one year ago) Permalink

Weird, the album disappeared from Spotify,ad so did The Dark

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 00:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Was just coming to say that: very odd

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 05:57 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I can't find anywhere to hear it, but ordered the LP from Norman Records. They have the CD too, and presumably Matt isn't writing on all of them?

mor frog bs (S-), Wednesday, 28 March 2018 09:20 (ten months ago) Permalink

can be peeped here -

(I Just) Died In Your Asshat Tonight, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 18:41 (ten months ago) Permalink

Ha, yes. Also bought from Norman in a "not scribbled on" version.

Even played quietly, the bass on the opening track prompts grumbles from the next room.

djh, Saturday, 31 March 2018 19:05 (ten months ago) Permalink

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