CMU Playlists

Playlist: Rolo Tomassi

By | Published on Saturday 17 April 2010

Formed long before any of the band’s members had even begun to think about GCSEs, Rolo Tomassi’s music is a finely balanced blend of hardcore punk, doom metal, math-rock and jazz. They released their debut album, ‘Hysterics’, in 2008, and it went on to achieve the highest of accolades – a place in CMU’s top ten albums of the year. They’re also one of the most exciting and impressive live bands in the UK, proof of which can be found at any one of the gigs on their current UK tour over the next month.

Last year they went into the studio with producer Diplo to record their second album, ‘Cosmology’, which will be released by Hassle Records. All signs point towards it being another masterpiece of heavy music. So, ahead of the release, we asked synth player and vocalist James Spence to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us.

Says James: “This is a disjointed selection of songs that serve as a cross-section of my tastes over the five years that our band have been together. As the secondary writer of our music and lyrics, this is what has influenced me when putting things together for Rolo Tomassi. There are some more obvious choices, with bands like The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower showing an earlier influence on what I contributed to our music, but conversely there are some more mellow songs, with artists like Yo La Tengo and Spoon. Anyway, I hope you enjoy listening!”

Click here to listen to James’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 M83 – Moonchild
Probably the best opening track to any album EVER. M83 are a huge influence for me in terms of writing keyboard parts, and we used to use this song as our intro music at shows.

02 Cap’n Jazz – Ooh Do I Love You

One of my favourite songs of all time!

03 The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower – Exile On Vain Street

I saw these guys play in Sheffield several years ago to about fifteen people and they absolutely smashed it. Really confrontational, sneering punk. They split up a while back but you should, check out their first album, ‘Dissertation, Honey’.

04 Das Oath – Don’t Leave Anything Anywhere It Will Disappear

One of the most intense bands I’ve ever seen live. I saw them play Ieperfest in Belgium when I was sixteen and they blew my head off.

05 This Is Hell – Permanence

These guys did the Soundwave Australia tour we were on recently and we hung out a lot. I’d only really started listening to them about a month before we went out, but this song is a favourite of recent times.

06 Yo La Tengo – Damage

I love how many different sides this band has in terms of how they sound. They seem to switch between loads of feedback and dirty sounding guitars to really melodic minimal tracks effortlessly, whilst still sounding like the same band. This is one of the best examples of the latter sound.

07 Radiohead – There, There

I’m not a huge Radiohead fan, but I love all the records they’ve put out from ‘Kid A’ onwards. ‘There, There’ is my current most played Radiohead song.

08 CFCF feat Sally Shapiro – The Explorers

CFCF was one of the best musical discoveries I made last year. He sounds like a modern, popped up Goblin. This track is a re-worked version of an originally instrumental song from his ‘Panesian Nights’ EP.

09 Spoon – Who Makes Your Money

Spoon’s new album, ‘Transference’, is one of the best things I’ve heard so far this year and this is my favourite track off it.

10 Sonic Youth feat Lydia Lunch – Death Valley ’69

I FINALLY managed to see Sonic Youth live at ATP last December and they played this song as their encore. Crushing!