Listed: Matt Elliott + E*Rock
Matt Elliott first appeared on the radar of rock fans in the early 90s as a member of the mysterious psych/drone outfit Flying Saucer Attack. During the mid-90s he re-emerged as the leader of drill'n'bass weirdos Third Eye Foundation, most of whose albums were released by Merge Records. Only this year has Elliott produced music under his own name, and recently released his excellent solo debut album The Mess We Made (also on Merge). It contains many of the patient and esoteric tendencies of Elliott's previous work, but with a much more tune and song-based focus, as well as a shift towards lower fidelity.
1. Bill Hicks - I’ve just finished a tour of Europe and although I brought 100 cds of music I ended up listening to almost nothing but the man Hicks, one of the funniest men that ever walked the planet, one of my biggest regrets is that I never saw him live, it’s a real shame he wasn't president of the US, not that he’d have wanted that or would have ever been voted in but he would have sorted out the country for sure, more than a comedian, a philosopher, he presented his vision of the world in such a funny way although pretty much all he said was common sense and in his own words the fucking truth, I loved his cynical approach to the human condition, there will never be another and a sad loss, a true one-off.
2. Fyodor Dostoevsky - I only started reading his stuff recently, but what stuff it is, it shows that life has always been this way, and his thoughts are as relevant today as they were in the 19th century, a true existentialist before existentialism even existed, maybe it’s the eastern European in me but I love his bleak vision of this bleak world, his works are one of the few works of literature that can have me in tears one minute and laughing the next.
3. Bruce Lee - Someone positive, again a true philosopher aswell as one of the finest martial artists that ever existed, and also an a winning tango dancer to boot, totally misunderstood there was so much more to him than was presented in his films although that would be enough for most people he had an almost unique view of combat in relation to life and a lifetime believer in peace and life without borders racial or otherwise, a true genius.
4. Stanley Kubrik - What a man, beyond his films which are all works of total genius, changed the way film making was done certainly in the states, and if you think the state of cinema is bad now, imagine what it would have been like without him, a man who lived for his art but also for his family, chronically misunderstood, definitely the greatest filmmaker of all time, slightly obsessive but in the best possible way.
5. Wing Chun Kung Fu - Love it, along with skateboarding (although I ain’t so good on a deck these days) one of those things that connects mind and body directly, if you’re thinking of studying a martial art definitely look into this one, simple, effective and good for the soul and body, invented by a woman way back when is designed for people of all sizes and statures, although choose a school wisely, luckily the one I studied at was free of macho bullshit, sadly there is nowhere to study round here.
6. Cricket - What a game, kind of a cross between chess and soccer, kind of a mini war (in a good way) not so big in the states but if you ever find yourself in the UK in summer find a game get a few pints in and enjoy, kind of like baseball but with an added dimension (the ball bounces so you’ve got the added dimension of spin, swing and pace) not as complicated as you might think and the games can last for 5 days, beautiful.
7. The love of a good woman - This can be hard to attain and there are some knocks along the way but if you can find an understanding lady that isn’t mad then it’s the best thing in the world, there ain't too many good women out there in my experience but having said that there aint too many good men neither, so if you do land one don’t fuck it up.
8. The cannabis plant - I know I know, a bit of a cliché but its such an awesome plant, can be used not only to get high but to make ropes, textile biodegradable plastics and seemingly almost anything else in the world, also it is one of the most efficient plants at turning carbon dioxide to oxygen and these days we need fields of it to start reversing the greenhouse effect which is definitely starting to get out of control, also if cannabis were legalized the state could reap in tax off it and help pay for a better health and education systems, not just weed but all drugs, the fact that a plant that grows naturally almost everywhere is against the law tells me there is something definitely very wrong with society, its like making pidgeons illegal, and has a million uses all of them positive but anyway its all been said before.
9. Its starting to get tricky now its hard finding 10 good things about even something as general as life on this planet but I’ll say Scorsese, another great filmmaker and someone who knows a lot about cinema, in fact I’ll expand it to cinema in general, there’s nothing better than a really good film, although like music 99% of cinema is lacklustre unimaginative shite, but check out some European films (not necessarily English) the French generally make a darn good film, no special effects just pure soul searching stuff and usually a few good laughs along the way having said that if you like a good action film brimming with special effects check out Doberman, like a French Tarantino film without the crap, also Delicatessen by the people that made Amelie, good stuff, too many to mention but there’s some real good stuff out there, there’s some great Japanese stuff as well.
10. I’m getting real desperate now, I’m feeling kind of cynical today, being in a cynical mood I’ll say Chris Morris a comedic genius little known outside the UK, he did a few series called The Day Today and Brasseye, definitely worth checking out, kind of a pisstake of the way the news is presented definitely worth a watch, it's beautiful.
E*Rock, a.k.a. Eric Mast, is Portland, Oregon’s most active electronica entrepreneur: his label Audio Dregs Recordings has released music from E*Vax, Inkblot, Isan and the venerable B. Fleischmann; his magazine “Thumb” covers all sorts of modern music; and his graphic design skills pop up all around town. He’s also half of Carpet Musics, until now, his only output on the Audio Dreg label. His debut solo album Conscious, however, became available to the public last month and features a variety of electronic sounds with an abstract-pop foundation, not unlike the material made famous on the Morr Music label. E*Rock takes to the road with Greg Davis (Carpark) and Lullatone (Audio Dregs) on the "Summer Days (and Summer Nights) Tour" in July:
July 5–Iowa City, IA @ Public Space One
1. The Fall – I Am Kurious Oranj, The Infotainment Scan & Totally Wired: The Rough Trade Anthology (Beggars, Matador, Castle) – I've been on a serious Fall kick lately. Everyday I listen to like four Fall albums while I work on design or drawing or whatever. I think I get on this kick for a few months, about every other year for the past 10 years, and every time it's for a different reason. Right now I'm really stoked on the production of his poppier songs, the later Fall records especially, as well as tweaking on the lyrics in a new way. "Rockin’ records. Rock the record. The guy's rock records!"
2. Altered Images – I Could Be Happy: The Best Of… (Legacy) – I guess I'm just hooked on the ’80s underground clean-style production right now, but the early singles and parts of Pinky Blue are killing me. Her vocals are just off the hook.
3. Cheery – Demo – My, I listen to E*Vax's new band Cherry at nauseaum. It's like modern hip hop production with five-part guitar harmonies, a subtle nostalgia undertone, and major hooks. I think this is gonna tear the roof off people when they hear this album!
4. Seiichi Yamamoto – Crown of Fuzzy Groove (P-Vine) – The most excellent and mind blowing psychedelic record in recent times, with a very nice vibe, more like the mellow kraut vibes from early Popul Vuh synth records, but with better rhythms form the dude better known for playing guitar in The Boredoms. Real great trance-inducing tracks.
5. ROTFLOL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing Out Loud 7" – One of the genius dudes from Paper Rad (www.paperrad.org) getting wicked. ROTFLOL sounds like Dat Politics without a laptop. I can't listen to this without picturing Gumby and Pokey cruising around in Go Karts. I woke up in the middle of the night the other week, saying out loud, "Of course, go karts!" And wrote a note to myself a message about go karts, but I can't remember if it was because I need to build one myself or if I needed to make them part of my life in some other way.
6. DJ Assault – Jefferson Ave (Intuit-Solar) – Assault's energy is inspiring, and his production is better than you would expect from a "ghetto-tech" producer, but mostly I love how "pop" his songs are. He does everything in his power to make you move. Try to make a song as catchy as this guy and he'll blow your thong out the door.
7. Hanadensha – Astral Pigmy Wave (Circle Sunshine) – Great psychedelic waves of sound from Japan from a few years back. Some of my favorite album artwork too from this trilogy of EP releases.
8. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Hate R&R, Barbed Wire Kisses, Automatic (Negro y Blanco) – I listen to his more than I did in high school when I first bought Automatic on cassette at a flea market, at the time it wasn't "raw" enough for me. Maybe I couldn't get past the mopey Brits with funny hair, but now when I hear the massive layers of guitar blurring out beautifully damaged pop songs it just blows me away.
9. Sean Paul – Dutty Rock (VP) – What a great mix of modern hip hop crossed with Dancehall riddums, and super catchy as well. My only complaint is that there's not enough Neptunes produced tracks, not that they don't have their hands in everything else already.
10. Last Saturday – So many awesome local bands played Saturday. I saw Jonny X & The Groadies, Panther, Point Line Plane, Nice Nice, and The Thermals. People can't even understand these bands outside of Portland – what a crazy electric freak-rock scene at the moment, not to mention the electronic acts that are soon to leak into the rest of the country, namely Nudge and Strategy. Such a good community here these days, with bands like Yellow Swans and Fontanelle as well, and new clubs like Dunes and Holocene opening that it makes me excited to be part of it all.
By Dusted Magazine