He might be a relative newcomer to the international dance music scene, but Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (AKA Orlando Higginbottom) certainly landed with a meteoric bang.
Trouble, his critically acclaimed 2012 debut artist album, was an iTunes and DJ Mag pick for Electronic Album of the Year. It would also top the BBC and NME annual polls. That's a lot of wins for a breakthrough artist whose sound defies easy categorization, straddling indie pop, nu-disco, house, techno, and UK bass.
"Within electronic music, I would say that I listen for emotion and direction," Higginbottom tells Crossfade. "That is often what sets the good stuff apart. But overall, whether it's music or architecture or film, I look for craftsmanship. Something I find hard to define, but you know what I mean -- you can hear if a piece of work is considered and cared for."
When it comes to handpicking DJs to curate and mix his label Crosstown Rebels' annual Get Lost compilation mix, by now it's pretty clear that Damian Lazarus goes for selectors with broad and somewhat leftfield musical tastes. (Last year, for instance, it was Acid Pauli, a then-somewhat obscure Berlin-based DJ with a penchant for deep psychedelic dance fare.)
So it's hardly surprising that mixing duties on this year's sixth installment of the series were bestowed on T.E.E.D.
"I met Damian Lazarus and soon after he saw one of my live shows, he asked me to remix the first Fur Coat single for Crosstown," Higginbottom reminisces. "We since became good friends and done a few things together, including the amazing Day Zero party they put on in Mexico last December. I feel very honored to be asked to do this Get Lost mix -- lucky, even. It's a great thing to be part of."
With a selection of records by artists as eclectic as LFO, Underground Resistance, Gold Panda and Mathew Jonson, T.E.E.D.'s Get Lost VI mix promises a roller coaster ride of styles, both classic and future-thinking.
"The only thing I did different from a normal mix was I made a real effort to turn sharp corners," he explains. "I didn't want it to be a smooth listening experience, more something that takes you by surprise and opens your ears up. So often with mixes everything is so neatly put together it blends into one sound."
But for fans of T.E.E.D.'s original production work, the cherry on top of this album will surely be "Lion, the Lion" an exclusive track produced in collaboration with Eats Everything.
"We spent two days at his studio in Bristol back in December," says Higginbottom. "I brought a bunch of sounds with me, and we mucked around until we had some kind of atmosphere forming. It ended up being much darker than we expected, but strangely fitting, as our major overlap in music is jungle and early drum 'n' bass. We are both excited to see how people react to it, especially outside the UK where the references may be lost."
Catch Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs doing his thing at Treehouse tonight alongside Josh Wink for LINK Miami's fourth anniversary party. And if you're lucky, you might hear some teasers from Get Lost VI, which drops on July 8.
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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. With Josh Wink. As part of LINK Miami's Fourth Anniversary Party. Co-presented by Miami Rebels. Friday, May 31. Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Call 305-614-4478 or visit treehousemiami.com.