For almost 10 years the only music emanating from Matt Elliott's guise as The Third Eye Foundation has been the odd remix here and there, providing no sequel to Little Lost Soul -Arguably their most musical LP- merging melancholic images and voices from the past with the modernity of manipulated soundscapes.
The progression from Semtex and Ghost, his firsts two LPs to the later "You Guys Kill Me" and Little Lost Soul is obvious: the aggression and layers of noise recede album by album, there is less abrasion to hide behind and piece by piece the heart & soul of the man behind the music is laid bare.
The latest instalment, the much anticipated album The Dark reflects details from the span of Elliott's output as The Third Eye Foundation and the culmination of his never ending musical studies. The essential Third Eye elements are all represented: the dark but intricate atmospheres, the head spinning beats, the walls of sound swelling and receding and a pounding, thundering bass.
The Dark is both a direct continuation on from Little Lost Soul and a definite move in a new direction. The shape and the soul of The Dark is at the same utterly classical and contemporary. Made up of five movements which merge into one another seamlessly, at times thundering dub-step, at others pulsating drum and bass at others a blissful soundscape at other points a combination of all of those elements and more:
Throughout the album the voices never end, swooping in, whispering, screaming. Voices from throughout the world and time echoing the cries of our collective unconscious stretched and pitched, so you can hear with precision the emotion expressed, the details of their pain, their joy, their sadness, and their anger. Then there are the haunting strings, the deep brass, other unidentifiable instruments all twisted together.
The Dark is a definitive piece of music at the same time tortured and yet romantic, reflecting the loss and the joy, the sin and the repentance, the despair and the optimism that all thinking people feel.
Add to this the individual talents of Louis Warynski (Chapelier Fou) & Chris Cole (Manyfingers) both multi instrumentalists and both playing an essential part of the classical instrumentation on the album, twisted at some points beyond all recognition by the orchestrations of Matt Elliott and the result is an intense ride, a trip to the centre of the soul, not always comfortable but you will feel all the better for having done it.
The music is echoed perfectly by the artwork of long time collaborator and arguably the greatest living visual artist Uncle Vania, and just as with the artwork, no Third Eye Foundation album has ever been so clear or so dense. These five movements, united by their low-key aspect, show a unique personality, proving for once and for all the inimitable style of The Third Eye Foundation.
released 08 November 2010
(p) & (c) Ici d'Ailleurs / Ici d'Ailleurs Publishing
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