The Third Eye Foundation: The Dark
Sometimes you’re not ready for a band. You know they’re doing something interesting, but they drift past your listening with little to no impact. Third Eye Foundation are one such outfit: their progressive and intelligent take on breaks and DnB sounded intriguing, but I needed something more jumping and re-windable back in the mid-90s when they first emerged. Somehow, with The Dark it seems I’m ready.
A warning: this is no easy or immediately gratifying listen. It takes time and effort to realise what is being attempted and what the album can realise. The first four tracks are melded as a symphony with no discernible break, making them more akin to movements than tunes. Orchestral and cinematic flourishes wax and wane; operatic voices rise and fall; and beats complicate themselves and take on filtered metallic edges in places.
Somewhere through ‘Standard Deviation’ it becomes eerie and discordant. Such a jarring would normally have me reaching for the skip or stop button, but it lasts just long enough for this to be aborted. The understated urgency of ‘Parcidolia’ and its bass wobbles gives way to ‘Closure’ where the discordance reappears, but by this time you’ve become so immersed that you’re hooked.
For some reviewers the final and only standalone track ‘If You Treat Us All Like Terrorists We Will Become Terrorists’ is a unwarranted coda. I’d like to disagree – it amounts to a safety valve that lets off the tensions built through what has come before. In other words, it works best in its context. So you’ll have to buy the rest here, won’t you?