Review: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Trouble
Published on June 27th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
“Go on set fire / Burn up online / Trouble with the postman / Fish is your life” – we’re pretty these aren’t the lyrics to “Promises”, the opening track of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ debut album Trouble, but that’s what it sounds to us like smooth-voiced electronic producer Orlando Higginbottom is singing over the top of this loopy electro-samba that melts off into warming analog synthery akin to vintage Warp Records fare.
That Higginbottom released an earlier EP on Joe Goddard’s Greco-Roman label does not surprise – there are certainly similarities with Hot Chip insofar as placing airy soul vocals over floaty/pounding electronica goes, but Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs give this pleasing aesthetic an old-school rave makeover, resulting in an LP that plays Screamadelically out like a mix, an album structure that has been rarely perfected since Sound 5’s lost classic No Illicit Dancing.
Along the way, we are treated to shuffly, sleekly nocturnal disco grooves, satisfyingly squidgy electronic punctuation, fizzy synth bass glow worms, discordantly ambient breakdown sections, mini-swarms of harmoniously fluttering notes and even on “Garden” a bit of ‘short-circuiting Game Boy’ bleepery. Even when things start sounding a bit ’80s-y, as on “American Dream Part II”, closer inspection reveals this to be down to the presence of ’80s traits amongst the altogether broader spectrum of disparate elements tossed into the cut ‘n’ paste mix like some over-eager robo-chef. Bloody great it sounds too.
All the while the production is full and vibrant, the vibe at once old-school and futuristic in an LDC Soundsystem-y sort of way, and it all ends with the clubby yet colourful, faintly berserk, synthily ornate “Stronger”, which incidentally if the next Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs album is then we could be onto something special.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Trouble is out now on Polydor. For more information, please visit totallyenormousextinctdinosaurs.tumblr.com