As we are now celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of The Third Eye Foundation’s Semtex, one of the most influential drum & bass albums of its time, it is worthwhile revisiting the career of Matt Elliott, its composer.
Matt was not even 16 while he decided to stop his studies to devote himself to his passion for music, getting a job at the famous Revolver records shop, and deejaying in Bristol clubs he wasn’t legally allowed to enter at this age.
Then we can mention that he’s been a professional artist for 20 years now, being requested by John Peel for a BBC session calling him at his own place, was signed on Domino Records in 1997, was asked for official remixes for Tarwater, Blonde Redhead, Mogwai, Ulver or Thurston Moore, who later invited him to play under the NYC Brooklyn Bridge.
He was one of the few artists involved in the reunion of Silver Apples and then touring with them in the US, toured as a choir singer aside Yann Tiersen around the year 2010, and played hundred of shows as Matt Elliott over UK, Germany, France, Japan, Greece, Italy and Spain/Portugal for years.
The new Matt Elliott album The Calm Before, its seventh under his own name, has been released digitally on february 5th, and will be released physically on march 4th, 2016. Matt has once again requested producer David Chalmin and the musicians appearing on his previous record, the more optimistic Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart (2013), to deliver six new masterpiece songs following the “A Beginning” intro.
While one could consider these new songs are a logical continuum to his previous records, a deeper listen reveals a strong work of both the musical and lyrical content, showing once and for all what Matt Elliott’s art is about. Folk guitar virtuosity playing influenced by mediterranean countries as well as eastern Europe countries, songs starting from whispered melodies to full noisy storms, his deep and strong voice reaching another singing level, and his tendency to avoid any well known way of making the music, writing epic anthems.
But one should also consider Matt’s poetry as an art on its own. We tried to ask him to develop the themes of these new songs, but Matt hates talking about his lyrics, preferring to leave the meanings of the songs open to interpretation. But we took everyone and everything Matt loves and put them in a room and threatened it with fire until he actually told us what the hell the songs on “The Calm Before” are about.
Here’s the result : “‘The Calm Before’ is obviously a reference to the expression ‘The calm before the storm’. The song itself is about those points in life when a storm arrives, be it a circumstance or a person & the mix of feelings, turbulence, trouble that comes with it but a storm also brings something, it clears the air & can push you into a new situation.”
Matt Elliott is supported by eastern European enigma Marc Marcovic.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Matt Elliott + Marc Marcovic
Sunday, 15th May 2016 | 20:00 CET
Roter Salon in der Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte