Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is a musician of rare breed. Not only a producer and performer but also a singer. It’s the kind of whole package that we don’t see very often and therefore have good reason to get excited about when we do. We’re not the only one’s as he was snapped up in 2011 by Polydor, another rarity – major record labels getting involved with rising electronic artists. Trouble is his debut album.
Trouble is, for the most part, a collection of bass heavy tracks taking their influence from the multi-faceted genre of house. Avid TEED fans will have already heard half of the album through pre-released singles including ‘Garden’ which has been on a mobile phone advert. At 14 tracks, however, Trouble still has plenty of new material up its sleeve. ‘Your Love’, in particular, is a euphoric tribute to 90s house and breakbeat and an instant favourite.
Newcomers will be blown away by TEEDs signature crunchy bass and driving beats. It’s a schizophrenic approach to production whereby all manner of weird and wonderful sounds drop in and out of the mix. Nebulous pads hover menacingly over tinkling melodies while the percussion does its complex polyrhythmic shuffle underneath. Despite the chaos it’s the subtle, understated vocals and sensitive lyrics that imbue these tracks with a touch of emotion. It’s TEED’s soft delivery that tames the four to the floor stomper of ‘Household Goods’ and evolves ‘Tapes & Money’ from a great dance track into a great pop song. New double A-side single ‘Stronger’ is another highlight and swaps out the otherwise pounding bass for a line so funky and addictive that it will have you strutting even if you’re sitting down. The other ‘side’ to the single is ‘American Dream Part II’ and despite the whimsy title is a gigantic, wobbling track heading straight for the dance-floor. Here TEED’s lack of lyrics accentuates the power of the track, leaving it’s sheer, glistening muscle to do the work. It’s worth pointing out that there are a couple of numbers on the album that don’t shine quite as brightly but clocking in at over an hour it’s hard to feel short changed.
‘Trouble’ is a long over due meeting of two, hitherto separate, worlds. That of the credible electronic musician and the high budget major labels. With artists like Caribou and SBTRKT paving the way for successful yet slightly less obvious electronic albums, TEED stands as a flag bearer for exciting, new and quality pop music.