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Higher Than the Eiffel

Audio Bullys

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Album Review

A tad gun-shy after their lackluster sophomore album, Generation, Audio Bullys waited five years to release another album, but it shows them able to muster their distinctive talents — courtesy of a world-wise frontman and a distinctive producer — to put up numbers worthy of their debut nearly ten years earlier. Vocalist Simon Franks has finally found his groove, fortunately ignoring both rapping and the street-swagger of a Mike Skinner or Jamie T.; here he's more of an elder statesman for British clublife, taking the role of Ian Brown or Shaun Ryder. Producer Tom Dinsdale has matured as well (in a good way), staying away from British house mostly to embrace all sorts of styles, from acid house to Northern soul to garage and punk — all delivered with plenty of grime. (And some sections diverge even farther from the playbook, including the minute-long a cappella that closes out "Daisy Chains," worthy of the Zombies' finest moments.) Higher Than the Eiffel is most reminiscent of the work that Freestylers and Lo-Fidelity Allstars were doing eight to ten years ago. Both of them aged into their classic full-length statement with surprising grace, and made intriguing music long after most punters had deserted them.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, Eng

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Audio Bullys, the duo of Tom Dinsdale and Simon Franks, capitalized on the boom in rough, tough, and streetwise British house sparked by Basement Jaxx but brought to a new level of distinction by acts like the Streets and Dizzee Rascal. By their Audio Bullys debut, both Dinsdale and Franks had several years of production and DJ experience behind them; Dinsdale, the act's main producer, began DJing at the age of 16 and had his 12"s gracing the mix sets of the world's top DJs by 1998. Franks, more...
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Higher Than the Eiffel, Audio Bullys
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