PORTRAIT#2: Matt Elliott [The Third Eye Foundation]

Drawing by Cristina Ruggieri

At the end of November, we had the pleasure to interview Matt Elliott in Milan, where he was appearing at Biko with his “Semtex Live Remix” show, celebrating the twentieth anniversary and the re-release of his debut album as Third Eye Foundation, Semtex.

It’s from that record that started our dialogue. Outside it was cold, Matt was exhausted after days and days of touring and worried about his voice, but after having finished his sound-check, we sat in the dressing room with a glass of wine and he told us the story of his whole journey in music, without saving himself from anything: anecdotes, moments of his personal life, ideas, records. We had our questions planned, but with the passing of time the interview took off in its own way and we simply let it flow.


(click on the images)

This is the portrait of an artist we will always respect and that we consider as one of the most talented, yet one the most honest and humble musician around. By now, for twenty-five years. To listen to the PORTRAIT #2 mix, click on  the play button of the Mixcloud player here above. To stream our PORTRAIT section so far, check it out here. The tracklist can be found at the very end of the article. Have a good read!

Q: So we would like to talk about the Semtex album. You’re repressing the album with your label, Ici D’Ailleurs, and it’s a massive edition: hours and hours of material. So how was the record born, how was your personal environment at the time?

A: Well, I was living in a squat with a drug dealer and with a guy from Crescent, I don’t know if you know this band, Crescent. So in those days there was a small scene, Bristol scene, which was based around Flying Saucer Attack. He was just starting, I guess I was 19, it was around 1993 1994, maybe 1992 when he started doing stuff. I was kinda involved in various things and that’s when I was recording the demos. I was quite involved in political actions, protest and stuff… it was a kind of loose collector of anarchists, sort of assholes actually… but I was doing some stuff with him, we were living together: we shared a house, well it was my apartment which he lived in. Anyway, he released his first album himself and then Domino got involved, which in those days was a very small company, it was just two people, Lawrence and a guy called Mitch. We did a few shows in Germany and Belgium and I gave the demotape to the guy Mitch and he played it for Lawrence of Domino.

So, ye, at the time I was living in a squat, I borrowed a four track, I had an Alesis drum machine and I was just taking lots of drugs and just listening and just making horrible noise for some… months, but it was the first time I quite consolidated an album and I thought “Ok, I’ll do a 45 minute album”. So I did that, it took, I guess, I don’t really remember, it might have take three months, it might have taken a year. Then Deb Parsons, from Foehn, who then was my girlfriend, she was involved, she did the vocals and some of the guitars, and I gave the demotape to Mitch, he played it for Lawrence and he just immeditaley contacted me and said “Ok, we wanna release it” but we release it on my label which I had at the time, Linda’s Strange Vacation. I had only released a 7’’ by a band called Amp. So they kind released it, but on my label. And then after that I signed a contract with Domino, which is a terrible contract actually, I’ve refounded just this year.

Q: Oh really?

A: Ye because the deal I had with Domino was basically that they would lend me the money to buy equipment to record and then I would pay that money back with the royalties. So effectively I payed for the recordings, and I payed ‘em all back, but I still don’t own the recording. With Semtex I own it, but with the ones that we released: Ghost, Little Lost Soul and You Guys Kill Me I don’t own anything.

Q: So they can do whatever they want with it.

A: Ye ye, pretty much.

Q: They won’t, we suppose.

A: Well, I don’t know. When it comes to Ghost, I hate that album, but You Guys Kill Me I would like to reissue that in 2018, which will be the 20th anniversary. So I’m hoping they’re gonna give me a real fucking good deal on the licensing on that, otherwise I might be a little bit upset. Anyway, so that was that really. In those days I wasn’t really playing live: I tried to do a couple of shows but they were total disaster. I did some with Deb, I remember, and she was doing her Foehn project at the same time and she released an album on a small Bristol label called Swarf Finger. Then once I got involved with Domino, they bought me some more equipment  and I started doing Ghost the beginning of ’97, cause I think it was released at the end of ’97. And that continued like that till 2000.

I just remember spending days, like not really sleeping: that was my recording method in those days. [] from Semtex I’m quite deaf: I had my hearing tested about ten years ago and the frequencies are good, good, good and then there’s a big hole there, because I mixed it all on headphones, and mixed it ridiculously loud.

Q: Ghost and Semtex are quite different albums.

A: Ye because I bought a sampler, that was the thing. Semtex was done on a four track and there was a lot of tape compression used and stuff like that.

Q: So was it just you with a guitar or what?

A: The drum beats were the first thing on most of the tracks, then I added the basic guitars, then I can’t really remember, to be honest. I just remember spending days, like not really sleeping – that was my recording method in those days, with Ghost as well – not really sleeping, not really eating, just recording, recording, recording, until I just basically couldn’t anymore. In fact from Semtex I’m quite deaf: I had my hearing tested about ten years ago and the frequencies are good, good, good and then there’s a big hole there, in Semtex, because I mixed it all on headphones, and mixed it ridiculously loud. So I got permanently hearing loss from that, which I had a bit the other day, because the monitors were too loud.

Q: So why do you hate Ghost? If is it possible to ask.

A: Oh, cause it’s horrible, it’s horrible. It’s horrible frequencies. The sampler was a really shit sampler. I don’t really understand digital music and stuff. I wasn’t even using computers, I was a bit skeptical with computers and in those days the computers were not great anyway. So I just bought this Roland w30 Work Station and it sort did everything. It was designed to basically have piano samples, million little piano samples, 196 piano samples, like real piano samples, so that it would sound like a real piano, but you could also sample stuff, but I think the total sampling time was like 32 seconds and then you had to use it at the absolute lowest quality. So of course each song is just… there is one bit or two bits… samplings. So it’s got that horrible tiny sound. I also didn’t really understand how to program sequencies properly. So to me it just sounds like a horrible fucking noise bunch of mistakes, which is probably what people like about it. I quite like hearing other people’s mistakes in music, or I don’t consider them mistakes. I always guess they we’re trying to do that.

Q: Maybe they failed but they were trying to do something.

A: Or not even that, but they deliberately did it on purpose. When you listen to someone else you don’t listen to it with their insecurities, you just think “Ok, this is what he was doing”, whereas me, I always listen to my stuff knowing what I was trying to do, knowing my own failures, and I always imagine some kind of recording engineer like going “the fuck was he doing?” and I’m quite the same with gigs, I always imagine this cynical guy in the back like going “what’s he trying to do there?”

Q: And so how does it feel to re-propose the album twenty years later? You did it with no computer but we saw that you have a computer with you.

A: Ye, of course I’d love to have done it with the original cassettes, but first of all I couldn’t get hold of a four track, not one that I would use, second of all you can’t really remix using it. I was talking to Eric [his manager] about this the other day. I saw at some point there was some kind of midi control four tracks but I’m probably just dreaming about that. So, to be honest the whole Semtex Live Remix wasn’t even my idea: it was just a nice way of getting back on the road and just thought we’d try in. And it’s been ok, it’s been quite fun; some night’s been great, some night’s been so and so, well the first couple of times  people were just… I was listening to a comedian the other day, Doug Stanhope, and he said that when he does a live show, it’s like going into battle: not everyone is gonna be there at the end.

And that’s the same with the Semtex show. And when they booked the Semtex show I just said “I’m not gonna stand behind a laptop for 45 minutes and then say “Yes please, pay me money””, so I tried to justify it by doing a Matt Elliott show which does take a certain amount of skill and musicianship to play. I mean, it does take a bit to do the Semtex thing, but it’s not quite the same, it’s more like a dj-set with a bit of guitar thrown over the top and some kind of knob-tweedling stuff. Me personally I don’t like to see that. I think in the 90’s it was ok to see a guy stood behind a laptop and now in 2015 it’s not really acceptable, but then, you know, is a kind of 90’s thing, so it’s not that bad. But when I used to do Third Eye Foundation that’s what I used to do: I hated myself for 45 minutes on stage in front of an audience and so I quite do that now. Although I have more fun now, cause I’m actually doing more now than when I was actually doing Third Eye Foundation in the old days.

When you listen to someone else you don’t listen to it with their insecurities, [] whereas me, I always listen to my stuff knowing what I was trying to do, knowing my own failures, and I always imagine some kind of recording engineer like going “the fuck was he doing?”

Q: So you’re basically using pieces from the record, mixing them together and adding something new.

A: Ye, ye, ye, exactly that, I’m dropping stuff in, just adding some stuff over the top. Well, you’ve heard some of the ridicolous bass frequencies which you can’t even made in those days with the kind of equipment that you had. So that’s quite nice to do that and just.. punish people with frequencies.

Q: We were wondering why you wanted to release it again (Semtex). Was it something that the label proposed to you?

A: No, I think it was a sort of a two way thing. I reissued The Mess We Made on the tenth anniversary as well and it’s always nice to mark the passing of time or whatever. I’m quite often asked to re-release Semtex and stuff, so of course it seemed like a nice moment. And also I found a bunch of cassettes, like demos, old cassettes demos of mine when I was 19 – i guess about six months ago, a year ago – so I went through all of them and chose the stuff that I preferred to add to the extra vinyl. So it all kinda made sense, to do it. Cause I thought people might be interested in the shit that led up to the album. It’s kind of a historical document for the 200 people in the world that might be interested.

Q: So the extras are all before the album?

A: Not all of them actually, there’s a lot of stuff that’s really ambient stuff, where I was just taking a lot of acid and doing sort of weird ambient… basically I was trying to capture the sound of universe, a sort of weird thing I was quite obsessed with, space and stuff. Then there’s some other stuff… I mean, actually, for every song that is on the compilation there’s at least two that didn’t make it, cause I was trying all different kinds of things in those days. I was really into My Bloody Valentine, so there was a side of stuff that was really my bloody valentine-y which I didn’t really include much of that because it was just embarassing. Other stuff… Beck was happening around at the time, so I made some really stupid comedy stuff, which obviously didn’t really work very well either.

You know, when you’re young you’re trying all different things. All I knew is that I wanted to be a musician. And so I tried all different kinds of things. But in the end the Semtex kind of stuff, seemed to be more, it was the most honest kind of thing, from me. Then there’s some other stuff, some sort of rarities that came around the same time, some odd 7” which sold probably 50 copies or something. So it’s a kind of way to document that as well. I just thought it would be nice thing to just chuck out a massive, big, chunk of music. And it’s not… like you can get it as the three albums or it comes as two albums or it comes as a CD, but whichever version you get, you get all the music, I think. I think that’s the way we did it. So you get it on a download thing. It’s just to get the music out in the world for, like I said, for the few people that want to hear it.

Q: We were just re-listening to everything that you did and it just came to our mind, especially about the last Third Eye Foundation and Semtex, they can be perceived as way more political albums than your personal stuff. Even they don’t have words, the message it’s really clear.

A: Well, you might be right. Certainly between ’94 and ’96 I was, as I said, involved in sort of political actions, various… classics of angry young man. And ye the fact that the album is called Semtex.

Q: Why is that?

A: Because it was a kind of a joke… cause it’s plastic and it’s explosive! Also I thought it was quite funny, because in those days they were first starting to do sort of key words on phone calls. So if you were to say certain words on phone calls they would record your phone call and they would analyze your phone call. That was the first of this kind of technology being used… so I thought it was quite amusing to call an album Semtex, just because that would increase the use of the word semtex and use up their resources kind of listening to boring conversation about indipendent music. So for me that made sense.

It sort of backfired on me because someone called me in my personal house from America saying “What is Semtex?!” I said “Well actually it’s plastic explosives” and of course I was living with a drug dealer, as I said, so that of course… it caused me some kind of concern for a few moments. I was expecting the door to be kicked out and… anyway. Ye, you might be right, and then of course the last album, If you treat us all like terrorists.. with the titles of the album, it’s the only way to get any kind of message across, I guess, with Third Eye Foundation. But then, there’s some political songs in Matt Elliott, like ‘Broken Bones is a political song, and ‘Planting Seeds‘ too. There’s a couple of others, I’m sure. But it’s true, I’m much more interested in expressing feelings, emotions associated with… you know, heart broken, things that normal people do. But then again it’s true, especially in Greece they like the more political stuff and when I first went to Greece people were quite upset that I wasn’t playing ‘Broken Bones‘ and stuff like that.


Q: Indeed we read a couple of time that you didn’t really enjoy the live aspect of Third Eye Foundation.

A: No, no, I hated it. At the time I didn’t do gigs. I only did gigs… if the offer was really good and if it was in a nice place. So I did a few shows in France, in those days. I never asked for money, but I would just say no to everything until someone said “Ok, I’ll give a thousand… euros”, wasn’t even euros in those days, but whatever. Then I would go with my friend, we rented a car and we drive through France, listening to Scott Walker and play to a bunch of people all going “Is that guy even doing anything?” and I’ll be like going: “I’m not doing that much… ”

But my reaction against that was to do the whole Matt Elliott thing and it sort had a massive change.. of heart, and I just got really bored with programming and electronics, and.. basically I decided to study the classical guitar because I was a kind of musician and people said: “What’s your job?” and I’m like “Oh, I’m musician” “Oh, what instrument you play?” “Ah, you know, like, samplers..” “Ye… ok… musician my ass.”

When I used to do Third Eye Foundation that’s what I used to do: I hated myself for 45 minutes on stage in front of an audience and so I quite do that now.

Q: Well, it takes skills to do that as well!

A: Well, yes, I’m still quite proud of some of the stuff. I’m proud of Semtex. I think it’s a nice debut album and I still think it sounds quite nice today. I mean, it’s of its time and everything but it’s got its little space in the universe. And You Guys Kill Me had the same, I’m quite proud of this, Little Lost Soul as well. And proud of some of the remixes I did, so i’ts not like I just hit a random number generator, I mean now on electronic music you can just do anything you want, with Garageband you can do it with your fuckin’ laptop, you can do all kinds of crazy shit you could only dream about doing in the nineties.

Q: That’s not always a good thing.

A: Nonono it’s a terrible thing, because of course anyone can do anything they want. I think it’s important to struggle a little bit, but then… I remember in the 90’s I genuinely believed that guitar music was completely dead and that there’s nothing to be said anymore with the guitar and that the only way to progress and go forward was electronic. And now, you listen to a lot of the electronic music from those days and it’s so dated, so of its time. And of course people get bored of it, because it’s quite cold, it’s quite hard to do emotional music. So then it goes back to the old ways of doing it: singing and playing, ’cause people would need to feel that emotion. And then it goes back again, because then you got people like Flying Lotus who are doing just amazing stuff with electronic music and really taking it yet another step further. So it’s an endless kinda circle of stuff. I mean it’s really interesting to see from a kind of, to observe what’s being happening it the last… I’ve been involved in music 25 years, I started working in a record shop when I was 15-16: Revolver. They just released a book called Original Rocker.

Q: Oh, we saw that on Facebook!

A: Yes, that’s the guy that used to work there, actually the guy that ran Planet Records, which was a small label that released Crescent and Movietone. He wrote the book and that’s really a great book, just making me laugh and cry.

Q: Does he mention you?

A: He doesn’t mention me. I was a bit concerned: he is a guy I haven’t talked to for years and he just wrote to me say saying: “I’ve written a book about Revolver, I’d like to send you a copy” and I was like “Oh my God, I’m not happy about it”. You know, I really love Rick, he’s really a great guy. But obviously in those days I mean I was a bit of an angry young man, we all had various issues going on, so I wasn’t sure whether he’s gonna absolutely destroy me. But he doesn’t even mention me in the book, which is great, he does mention me but not by name, he alluses to me.

Q: “That guy”.

A: Ye, ye, and so I really appreciated that, because he was keepin’ in mind the privacy. So that’s a really great book and it’s a really great shop. “I’m quite sentimental about those days when I was just quite open, ’cause [] you open yourself and it’s like the universe is trying to talk through these weird coincidences, and the more you open yourself to it the more those things happen.”

Q: Is it still active?

A: No, no, it died in the late 2000’s, just shortly before I left Bristol. And it died a very slow and terrible death. The owner knows absolutely everything about music, complete music obsessive. There was all, I mean… Original Sun Ra copies with hand-drawn sleeves, amazing records, original first released Tim Buckley albums, I mean anything you wanted it was there, walls and walls of records. And not only that but field recordings from all over the world, from Iran, from Turkey, from Turkmenistan, from anywhere you wanted there was music and that explains perhaps some of Third Eye Foundation more “worldy” sound, because I was just lifting stuff from some of that music.

Q: Maybe also some of the Matt Elliott material takes inspiration from the Turkish or European folk.

A: As well, that’s right. But that was instead just ripping it. Well, just taking it from the record and slowing it down. With the Matt Elliott stuff what happened was that, when I was 15 or 16 I learned to play the guitar and someone taught me the pentatonic scale, the blue scale, and of course it’s a very easy thing to do: it’s what all rock and roll or blues is based on. And at some point I kinda rebelled against it and just said “I hate this scale, I never wanna hear it, or play it, again.” So I was much more interested in more middle-eastern scales and gypsies and anything else, you know, anything that wasn’t pentatonic. Folk music from around the world is not based around pentatonic, that’s an early twentieth century sort of invention… discovery.

Q: We were just recently watching again the movie “What a fuck I’m doing on this battlefield” and there’s a point there where you talk about Third Eye Foundation and you say that it’s something that doesn’t totally depend on you. You say there’s something that instantly clicks and almost magically two samples go well together and it’s something that you can’t explain why it does work or why it does happen to you. We were thinking about that and then we read a few interviews and you’re saying that you much rather prefer doing the Matt Elliott stuff, so it was a bit of… well, not contradiction, but maybe two different aspects of the same thing.

A:  Well, the thing is that with Third Eye Foundation, as I said, I didn’t really play an instrument, I mean, I played guitar and piano but very basic levels. But it’s true in those days I quite opened myself to these kind of weird coincidences and weird things happening. Now I prefer to control everything and to kind of make everything from the beginning. It’s more satisfactory to me because I think “Ok it’s not just a random but of happenings”, but at the same time I’m quite sentimental about those days when I was just quite open, because it is a weird experience cause you open yourself and it’s like the universe is trying to talk through these weird coincidences and the more you open yourself to it the more those things happen. And it’s really an amazing thing and I don’t know if there’s other disciplines… or other activities you can do in life where you can kind of invite these weird things to come and sort of comunicate…

Q:  ..visit you.

A: Ye, but it’s an amazing thing. I suppose if you do automatic writing stuff. When was a kid, I say kid, sixteeen – seventeen, I was really interested in esoteric subjects, like , all of this stuff, occult stuff, magik with the k. I didn’t really meddle with that, but then I got more into the idea that you don’t practice magic, you just open the door and just let it in, and then it will just work through you. I’m really into this idea. And I like having random aspects in all of my music. Even the Matt Eliott stuff, there’s normally something random in the background, like.. I always put stuff through these filters and stuff, which kind of randomly go up and down and can you can just hear them in the background pitch up and down and they’re almost playing a separate tune underneath and…

Q: …You can’t control it!

A: Ye. I mean, it’s always in key, normally. But it’s true each time you mix it’s different. Sometimes it comes out really nice and sometimes it’s a big mess and you have to start again and re-mix it. And with the last Third Eye Foundation I was really really doing that: just throwing in these random algorithms and letting stuff write itself, but just really beneath the surface. It’s quite interesting but at the same time it’s quite frustrating, because, exactly, it’s not in your control. And as I’ve done Matt Elliott stuff more and more, I prefer to be really in control of everything that’s happening. I’m gonna start a new Third Eye Foundation album in January and I’m gonna work with the guy that did the new Matt Elliott album that comes out next year and the last one “Only Myocardial Infarction…’.

And it’s gonna be first time, since the very early days.. well, Deb, from Foehn, she was involved in Third Eye Foundation but it was very much my project ad she kinda joined at the end, whereas this time it’s gonna be the first time that it’s gonna be the both of us in the studio and it’s gonna be like ”Ok, what are we gonna do?”. I really trust this guy’s judgement and he knows all about my music and he’s really amazing, he’s like a fucking genius. Actually he does too much, because normally at the end of every album I like to feel that I’ve gone through some kind of hell, and the last, the one that’s coming out and the last one I didn’t feel like that, because he did so much work, such a great job, that almost makes it feel too easy. I just had to do what a normal musician does, which is write songs and write lyrics and then record it and then it’s done. So we’ll start on that, I don’t know whether it’s gonna take six months or six years or sixty years, I don’t know, but we’re gonna start on January. Then, ye, there’s a new Matt Elliott album that’s already done. It’s already mixed, it’s already mastered, artwork… I think it’s gonna be out March next year [2016].

Q: How is it called?

A: The new one? It’s called The Calm Before. So less jockey title.

It sort of backfired on me because someone called me in my personal house from America saying “What is Semtex?!” I said “Well actually it’s plastic explosives” and of course I was living with a drug dealer []… it caused me some kind of concern for a few moments.

Q: So after twenty years how does it feel to be still here around?

A: Ye, well, a fuckin’ miracle. I think if you told me at 19 that I’d release… I think the next album is the twelfth album I’ve released. So if you’d told me that, that I would have visited the world and played my music in Russia, Beirut, and Japan and Greece and stuff, I wouldn’t have believed it, really. Last twenty years have been fantastic. So yeah, it feels good! I mean, I’m starting to get older now, as you can see, after seven days of touring, completely fucking broken my nails, broken my hands, I mean it’s fun but…

Q: ..But you can’t be a touring man that tours 24/7.

A: I just think I need to take a bit more care. I mean, my Italian agent he likes to book seven shows in seven days and you know, I sing quite a lot and stuff, we don’t have lots of sleep and it’s winter time. All of these things kind of combine. I think I’m sick, that what the problem with the voice is. It’s not necessarily that I broke it from singing. And then the irony is that I gave up smoking two years ago for exactly to stop this shit happening, but that hasn’t made any fucking difference, but anyway…

Q: So after twenty years how does it feel to be still here around?

A: Ye, well, a fuckin’ miracle.

Q: So you gave up smoking… totally?

A: Well, I smoke weed, but I vaporize it. I can never have another puff of joint in all my life, because if I do, I’ll be straight back onto smoking joints with my coffee in the morning, which I don’t wanna do that, because it’s not a constructive thing. I don’t care what people do: I spent twenty years doing that, I can’t say anything against it.

Q: So you gave up on the tobacco?

A: Ye, ye, i’m quite happy to take all kinds of drugs. So I still do, I mean, I enjoy them. I mean, MDMA? Fuck it, I love it. In the right place, on the right time, it’s a fuckin amazing drug. As long as you’ve got a whole day to cry the next day, that’s fine.

Q: (Laughing)

A: It’s all in the preparation.

Q: So, this may be a tricky question. If you say “I don’t know” that’s ok. Going back to the fact that you’ll give us a mix of your stuff, how would you describe your growth, your process of growing? If someone who doesn’t know anything about you…

A: Uff.. Ye, it is a bit of a tricky question, cause… I often get asked this by journalists who basically, I know this is not the case about you, but, by journalists who basically can’t be bothered to listen to the music. So they say “Oh please, describe your music!” and I say “Well no, my job is to make the music, and it’s your job to describe it” And it’s also very difficult to describe one’s own music, because of course I’m so close to it…

Basically I’m a student of music. It’s an ongoing study and music is such a massive subject: it covers so many levels. Music is one of the world’s great subjects that you can study. You can study it at very basic levels, I mean any child can make music: you give a kid a xylophone and give ’em a couple of hours and they’ll play a tune on it of their own volition, but at the same time there’s also many, many aspects of music, that is not just about melodies and scales and this and that. I don’t know… In my own mind I have my own map of music, I can’t read or write music, but I have my own understanding of music which has taken me so many years to make. And it’s quite frustrating, because when I’m with other musicians it’s quite difficult. Often when I’m in the studio, David, the guy who engineers and coproduces the album has to explain to the bass player “this is E minor then it goes to G”, I mean, I know it’s E minor, G, the basic stuff, but often I’m a bit like “Oh! Ok it’s in this timing!” and stuff like that, but I have my own undestanding of it.

But also it covers a massive range of things. One of the reasons, one of the things that is fascinating about music is that it’s so close to sort of misticism. It’s based on numbers and it’s also a mystical thing: we don’t really know why it exists, there’s no evolutionary reason why we should appreciate music, there’s no reason why someone who was born and raised in Vietnam can be moved to tears by Chopin, something completely culturally different from them, but it does works like that. Music is such an amazing unifying thing, because it’s one of the things that, if you spend enough time with music, you realize it’s completely pointless to be racist or nationalistic or a patriot, because you realize that every single person on this earth, and throughout time, has felt sadness, loss, pain, happyness, joy, dances, all of those things that humans throughout the world have done, since time began, since humanity began, at least. Then of course there’s music therapy, there are musical frequencies: frequency of 9 hz for example is a very pleasant frequency for humans to hear, and at the same time 19 hz it’s a very unpleasant frequency for humans to hear and it’s even theorized that’s the reason why humans see ghosts and stuff it’s that there’s resonant frequencies of 19hz, it vibrates the eyeballs. I heard that frequency just once when Brakken played and he played the ghost frequency because I know, because my eyes started to vibrate, my heart started palpitating and I had this terrible feeling of panic.

Q: So can you hear something when you hear it?

A: Ye, you can, it’s a very, very low frenquency, and when it’s loud enought it’s incredibly disturbing. Now the cops in America they’re using sound as a non-violent…, well it is violent,  as a kind of non… what’s the word? Well they use it for crowd control and stuff. So it’s not al good: in Guantanamo they use music as a form of torture. So, there’s many different aspects of music, sociological aspects of music. The history of music is full of  very rich, very important  things: Pythagoras, who was interested in music, invented the octave scale. It’s really just an endlessly fascinating subject and I think you can study it for ever, and still learn stuff, and still have a good practical understanding of it, it’s really an amazing thing.

But at the same time, like the guy that worked in the record shop, that we were talking about earlier, didn’t understand anything about music, he didn’t know a b c d whatever, he didn’t give a fuck about that, but he was so completely moved by music, phisically, and, so, ye, it’s one of great thing humanity has. Without music I’m dread to think what humanity would be like, because as I said it’s one of the things the really unites us and brings some kind of peace and understanding between humans. Ah, yeah, the question was, ye, it’s an ongoing study, so it’s been twenty years and I’m still studying and still learning.



1. Third Eye Foundation – Hymn to Pan
2. Third Eye Foundation – A Hollow Soul
3. Third Eye Foundation – Sleep
4. Third Eye Foundation – Semtex (Live Remix)
5. Third Eye Foundation – In Bristol with a Pistol full 9mm
6. Foehn – Lonely Fights
7. Third Eye Foundation – Half a Tiger
8. Blonde Redhead / Third Eye Foundation – Four Damaged Lemons
9. Matt Elliott – The Mess We Made
10. Madrid / The Digital Intervention / Yann Tiersen – Une Pluie Sèche (Mixed by Third Eye Foundation)
11. Matt Elliott – A Waste of Blood
12. Ulver – Lyckantropen (Third Eye Foundation Remix)
13. Matt Elliott – The Ghost of Maria Callas
14. Matt Elliott – How Much in Blood
15. This Immortal Coil Feat. Yael Naim – Tattooed Man (remixed by Third Eye Foundation)
16. Matt Elliott – Please Please Please
17. Matt Elliott / Third Eye Foundation – All of Our Leaders are Sociopathic, Criminal Monsters Who Should be Locked Away Far From Any Kind of Power for the Good of All Humanity


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PAYNOMINDTOUS is a non-profit organization registered in December 2018, operating since late 2015 as a webzine and media website. In early 2017, we started our own event series in Turin, IT focused on arts, experimental, and dancefloor-oriented music. We reject every clumsy invocation to “the Future” meant as the signifier for capitalistic “progress” and “innovation”, fully embracing the Present instead; we renounce any reckless and ultimately arbitrary division between “high” and “low”, respectable and not respectable, “mind” and “body”; we support and invite musicians, artists, and performers having diverse backgrounds and expressing themselves via variegated artistic practices.

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