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A stylish update on '80s synth pop, Filthy Dukes first took shape in 2005 when club promoters Olly Dixon and Tim Lawton started DJing as a duo while supporting acts at their Kill Em All night at London's Fabric nightclub. Eventually interests turned from spinning records to making their own records, and the two began releasing remixes, including songs by the Rakes, Bloc Party, and Heloise & the Savoir Faire. After the success of their Maccabees remix, Dixon and Lawton were convinced by their musical peers to write their own material. Teaming up with producer Mark Ralph, they started recording in the studio. Ralph became a permanent fixture of the band, and the three started playing shows, quickly building a following of fans that drew from both the rave and rock culture. Well established as a solid live band by only their third show — a prominent bill at Glastonbury — Filthy Dukes found the studio to be a different entity than the stage, with their instruments left behind in favor of the producer's hand. This style of recording led to many collaborative spots with guest vocalists. In late 2007, Filthy Dukes pressed a limited run of "This Rhythm," an electro-house track with Samuel Dust of Late of the Pier on vocals; Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding collaborated with the group for a track on 2008's Wild Child soundtrack; and the first single, "Tupac Robot Club Rock," from their debut full-length featured raps by Plastic Little. After the group signed to Fiction Records, Nonsense in the Dark was released in March of 2009.