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Formed in Auckland, New Zealand, by a couple of guys raised on hip-hop, Breaks Co-op issued their debut, Roofers, a downbeat trip-hoppy album, in their native country in 1997. Following its release, the duo, Hamish Clark and Zane Lowe, amicably split ways, Clark to travel and Lowe to move to the U.K., where he worked as a radio DJ and presenter on MTV2 Europe. When Clark eventually ended up in England too, the band decided to begin working on new material, this time focusing on live instrumentation. After spending eight months of 2004 working on the album, Breaks Co-op heard a demo on which Andy Lovegrove, an instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist, was singing and immediately contacted him and asked him to write lyrics to one of their songs. What came from that was "The Otherside" (which was later named Single of the Year at the 2005 New Zealand Music Awards) and an invitation extended to Lovegrove to join the band officially. In 2005 The Sound Inside came out in New Zealand, and after releases in the U.K. and Germany, the album came out in the U.S. in 2006.