Album review

Audio Bullys : Back To Mine

Audio Bullys : Back To Mine'A personal collection for after hours grooving' is how DMC pitch the enduring Back To Mine series, and while the similarly styled Under The Influence series seems set to be dominated by more traditional artists - Morrissey, Ian Brown and Paul Weller so far - Back To Mine is tilted towards those what mix. Faithless, Underworld and Tricky have all taken their turns on the 1210s, and now it's the turn of thug house duo Audio Bullys.

If you've been lucky enough to hear Audio Bullys' Ego War CD - or even just the fabulous We Don't Care single from earlier this year - you'll be familiar with Tom Dinsdale and Simon Franks' intimidating mix of hip-hop, house and the darker side of the 80s. As such it's no surprise to find Madness and The Specials (My Girl and Blank Expression respectively) butting up against Wildchild's Renegade Master and Roots Manuva's Strange Behaviour.
    What is a surprise is Audio Bullys' inability to make these songs work together as part of a greater whole. Jarring changes in tempo and genre, abetted by less than impressive mixing mean that The Stranglers' beautiful drug anthem Peaches is mutilated by an incoming Outer Space courtesy of The Prodigy, and Marvin Gaye is mugged by (admittedly impressive) new Bullys track All Burnt Out.

Back To Mine is good, in fact the majority of the music here is great, but Tom and Simon have let their ambitions get the better of their mix tape abilities and failed to deliver an album that really gels. If that encourages them to push out a proper successor to Ego War then all the better . . .

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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