CMU Playlists

Playlist: Three Trapped Tigers

By | Published on Sunday 29 May 2011

Three Trapped Tigers

We’ve been huge fans of Three Trapped Tigers ever since their debut EP turned up in the CMU office.

Their sound is complex, and can be difficult to explain succinctly. When we interviewed him last year, the band’s keyboard player and occasional vocalist Tom Rogerson described their sound with a riddle, saying: “How do you play Aphex Twin live? Answer: make it sound a bit like Lightning Bolt”. But that description doesn’t get over how much they’ve created their own universe of music, with an instantly recognisable sound.

Along with acts like Talons and Gallops, the band are doing really exciting things with instrumental rock music, which is showcased perfectly on their debut album, ‘Route One Or Die’, released through the Blood & Biscuits label on 30 May.

Ahead of the album’s release, we asked the band to put their heads together and come up with a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. The results are as eclectic as we’d hoped for, taking in metal, hip hop, jazz and 80s movie themes.

Click here to listen to Three Trapped Tiger’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about their selections.

01 John Foxx – Underpass
Tom: This album came out in 1980 and is one of the pioneering UK synth-pop records. Incredible sounds, and such an original take on harmony, melody, etc. The whole thing is most notable to me for being so ambitious though. It’s entirely its own universe, lyrically, vocally, and musically, and would nowadays be dismissed as pretentious art-house nonsense. Yet it’s pretty representative of a highpoint in UK ‘pop’ music.

02 Moderat – Les Grandes Marches
Tom: This is one of the few recent releases I keep going back to and is a band favourite, too. I love both these artists (Modeselektor and Apparat) individually, but the combination on this record is a bit more sumptuous. It’s that kind of euphoric dancefloor music that is pretty difficult to pull off, managing to be equally tough and glorious at the same time.

03 Vince DiCola – Rocky IV Training Montage
Tom: The best and worst of the American 80s in three and a half minutes. Incredible synths, ADHD harmony and form, and no restraint.

04 Actress – Get Ohn (Fairlight Mix)
Matt: His sound really stands out from the rest of the “bass music” scene. I’d ideally not isolate one track from this album as there’s such a great range, but this track has an awesome dark thump to it. It’s definitely one of my favourite albums of recent times – I’m normally at least a year or two behind.

05 Stian Westerhus – Music For Leaving
Matt: Some strands of Norwegian jazz-with-electronics are really cheesy, but bands on the label Rune Grammofon like Supersilent, Humcrush and Puma are covering way more interesting territory. Puma’s guitarist Stian is one of the label’s younger artists coming through – this album is just solo guitar, from really beautiful ambience through to seriously visceral noise as on this track. I saw him play solo live in a pub – it was incredibly inspirational how balls-out his performance was.

06 Slick Rick – Lick The Balls
Matt: I remember my older brother mixing this track when he first got decks and I love the beat, old school cuts and samples. Perhaps not even the best track on this album or my all-time rap ‘joint’ but it’s something I’ve been playing on Spotify recently. Really my favourite hip hop is the 90s golden era: ATCQ, Snoop/Dre, Biggie, Nas’ ‘Illmatic’, anything produced by DJ Premier, etc.

07 Evil Ex – Cracks
Matt: A shameless plug for my solo EP. Betts is drumming on it, and wanted us to use this track as it’s the best vehicle for his own shredding.

08 Liturgy – Generation
Adam: I think the new Liturgy album is a really exciting record, delivering exactly what metal needs – less polish, less neutered technical proficiency and a more visceral sound. This tune also has a pretty bold compositional idea behind it – one note for six minutes?! Ballsy.

09 The Low Anthem – Boeing 737
Adam: This guy has a glorious voice and the album has a beautiful sound, full of heart. Also this tune coupled with it’s video is pretty sublime.

10 Pig Destroyer – Hyperviolet
Adam: Our driver Ross just introduced me to these guys, and this track manages to combine some slamming drumming and riffs with a real “something’s wrong with the world” outro which is madly exciting!