Sonic Sitars

Badmarsh & Shri are the new sound of the British underground

Mohammed Akber Ali and Shrikanth Sriram, the London duo known as Badmarsh & Shri, don't do scenes. They figured that out soon after the release of their first CD, Dancing Drums, in 1998. The duo was waiting to play at a London night spot packed with would-be hipsters desperate to get a hit of a new music genre--dubbed "Asian underground" but often consisting of little more than DJs sampling Indian folk music over drum-'n'-bass beats--that was then the rage in U.K. clubs. "There was a band on before us," Sriram remembers. "And a couple of Asian guys came on with sitars....

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