Jungle was TEED's Introduction to Dance Music

Dec 19, 2022

Sierra Vandervort

3 min read

By age 15, Orlando Higginbottom, known as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (or TEED), was fully signed up for rave culture. Now a highly successful and celebrated producer and DJ in his own right, TEED still fondly recalls his introduction to dance music: visiting his local record shop in Oxford and stealing CDs from his older siblings.

Growing up as the son of an Oxford professor and classical choir director, TEED recognizes that he was a “ridiculous music snob” when he was younger. Pop music’s simplicity and repetitive nature at the time never called to him. He only began to branch away from his strict diet of classical and jazz music when he unearthed rave tapes from his siblings’ bedrooms. While the family was away, young Orlando would tote CDs or cassettes to his room and listen to them in bed. Timeless, the 1995 album by British Drum & Bass architect Goldie especially stood out to him. It didn’t take long for the young musician to develop a hankering for this exciting new music.

“The thing that really caught my ear was rave tapes and hearing jungle music,” he said in a podcast interview with fellow musician and buddy Anna Lunoe. “It was so exciting to my eardrums and my imagination. It was the antithesis of the classical music I had grown up on.”

He asked his older siblings how he could get more of this music, and they showed him how to dig for vinyl. He bought his first turntable for 30 quid and found a mixer soon after. He was still a preteen and only mixing at friends’ houses a few times a year, but was immediately hooked.

“I could sort of like not eat lunch for a few days and get enough money for a record,” he said. “There were ways I could build a record collection, and I started doing that.”

Another family member was pertinent to his growing interest in music. He would often ask his mother to go to the record store on promotional days to snag specific releases while he was still in school.

And for TEED, that support from your closest loved ones is still as important as ever.

“The foundations of a music career are built on your friends, whether that be in terms of support or through collaborators,” he said in a recent interview with MusicTech. “It starts close and stays close – that’s so important.”

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