Guitarist, vocalist, and electronic musician Matt Elliott has been making dark, haunting, and sometimes apocalyptic music since the mid-'90s. He began playing with several space rock bands from his native Bristol, England, including Flying Saucer Attack, AMP, and Movietone. In 1996, he began releasing a torrent of albums and EPs under his groundbreaking Third Eye Foundation project. The Foundation blended claustrophobic jungle and hip-hop breakbeats with noisy collages of guitars and found samples, resulting in some of the most jarring, unsettling electronic music of its time. 3EF and V/Vm shared the first installment of FatCat's lauded Split Series in 1997. The project released four well-regarded albums on Domino (in the U.K.) and Merge (in the United States), which also issued the 2001 collection I Poo Poo on Your Juju, compiling remixes for Blonde Redhead, Tarwater, Yann Tiersen, and others.
The Mess We Made, Elliott's debut solo album under his own name, was released in 2003. The name change also marked the shift in his work from electronic music to dark, dreamlike experimental folk. Following the album, he moved to France and signed with French label Ici D'Ailleurs. His subsequent albums were far more influenced by chansons and Eastern European music, but they continued the dark themes of his previous work, as evidenced by titles such as Drinking Songs and Failing Songs. In 2009, Elliott participated in This Immortal Coil, a tribute to Coil's Jhonn Balance that also included contributions from Tiersen, DAAU, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. The project's full-length The Dark Age of Love was issued by Ici D'Ailleurs. Elliott also toured with Tiersen that year, opening for the composer as well as playing in his band. In 2010, Elliott made a surprising return to the Third Eye Foundation moniker for the release of the politically motivated The Dark. He returned to his given name in 2012 for The Broken Man. Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart followed in 2013, and The Calm Before arrived three years later. ~ Paul Simpson