ITEM: 00494
The image for item with title Matt Johnson - See Without Being Seen

Matt Johnson - See Without Being Seen

“I would drive around in my left hand drive Volkswagen Beetle with See without Being Seen playing on the car cassette player. I recall on one track it sounded like Matt was singing dancing, dancing, dancing, on a grape. But, this didn’t matter – it all sounded pretty crazy anyway! Matt Johnson/Keith Laws/Steve Sherlock driving indefinitely round and around the back streets of London – listening to sounds. Music sounded better this way." 1977 - Post-punk London appeared a landscape brim-full of opportunity. Inspired by a myriad of self-produced music and independent record labels everything and anything seemed possible. The political dirge and corresponding unemployment of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government created a situation whereby many a musician found liberation in the form of a government grant (The Dole) and the freedom to go off and do as they pleased. In this culture of DIY, events, gigs, happenings, artists, musicians and non-musicians, bands like Throbbing Gristle, This Heat, The The, Neu Electrikk, PragVEC and Robert Rental found an audience eager to share in their endeavour. With a record collection that included John Cage, The Velvet Underground, Neu, Cluster and Tangerine Dream Parry set about looking for kindred spirits to form a band. Confronted with a pile of music publications laid out on the bedroom floor, he would note down the contact addresses of something of interest. This day in November 1977 a particular advert in the NME caught the eye asking for Bass/lead guitarist into The Velvet Underground/Syd Barrett. The advert had been placed by a 16yr old Matt Johnson. The resultant telephone call to The Crown, Loughton, Essex, a pub run by his father Eddie, revealed a good-humoured confident sounding Johnson with the promise of a real musical revolution. In the weeks, months and years that followed Johnson and Parry would stay in touch. Johnson sent Parry a copy of his solo tape See Without Being Seen. The corresponding letter states “the project which I’m working on at the moment (which the cassette is/was part of) is See Without Being Seen – which deals with you or I (or anyone whose listening to the songs) as a spectator seeing abstract views of life be it of people or situations or how people react to various situations and pressures.” To-date the music on See Without Being Seen to date remains unreleased. An important early artefact of the work of Matt Johnson / THE THE - Steve Parry (Dec 2014)