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The Third Eye Foundation

So many music writers have cast about for so many neat phrases to describe the Third Eye Foundation's more-or-less indescribable creepy electronic-based instrumental music. We'd like to propose our own neat phrase: goth and bass. Sure, it's kind of stupid and not terribly pretty, but it gets the message across. That message being that 3EF (the alias of former Flying Saucer Attack collaborator Matt Elliott) borrows the gloomy, haunted outlook of goth rock and the ominous, alien style of drum and bass to create something, well, gloomy, haunted, ominous, and alien. Spooky, too. Lots of people like to compare his music to the soundtracks of horror flicks, or the scores of nightmares. Indeed, Elliott tends to throw everything but the kitchen sink into his compositions to create that strange, scary feel: splintered, rumbling beats, distorted bursts of guitar, tinny piano lines, lonesome dirge-like accordions, ghostly flutes, monastic bell tollings, tinnitus-inducing squeals of feedback, and all manner of electronic effects, from the brain-scratching to the bone-chilling.

Elliott undertook the ongoing project in the mid-'90s, releasing the debut 3EF album, Semtex, in 1996 after working with Bristol cohorts David Pearce and Rachel Brook their avant-noise ensemble Flying Saucer Attack. Over the course of a half-dozen albums, Elliott has gradually refined his experimental "drill and bass" approach, appropriating sounds from a dazzling array of sources to achieve his eclectically chilling sonic vision. His most recent output was 2001's I Poo Poo on Your Juju (no comment necessary on Elliott's choice of album titles), a collection of obscure 3EF remixes from over the years. Featured here is Elliott's remix of "Four Damaged Lemons," a Blonde Redhead track which originally appeared on Melodie Citronique, the sister EP to the art-rock band's 2000 album, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons. Also appearing here is Elliott's reworking of turntablist duo Urchin's "Snuffed Candles," which first appeared on a compilation titled Shitwrenched. The album's one original track is "Push Off My Wire," on which Elliott challenges Chris Morris to a creepy from-beyond-the-grave drum and bass duel. Poo-Poo also features remixes of Tarwater, Jonathan Richman (!), and others.

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