UK band Acacia comprised singer and guitarist Alexander (who refused to reveal his surname) and sound engineer Guy Sigsworth, who had previously worked with a series of successful artists including Seal, Bomb The Bass and Björk. Together with accompaniment from Maurizio Anzalone (b. England of Italian-Spanish parentage; guitar), and Talvin Singh (b. 1970, London, England, of Kenyan-Indian descent; percussion), the latter a veteran of live work with Siouxsie And The Banshees, Björk and the On U Sound System, they spent much of 1993 perfecting their low-budget ‘liquid music’. The latter term was coined to describe the distinctive ‘underwater tabla’ sound, as they sold their wares on the underground cassette scene via mail order. Alexander had first learned to play the guitar to Chinese and Balinese scales before any introduction to more prevalent R&B forms, and this factor heavily influenced the band’s direction. When asked whether Acacia were a world music band, he would only concede: ‘We’re a fourth world band, because the music’s alien to everyone.’ Their first single, April 1994’s Maddening Shroud EP, also added Balkan gypsy voices, gamelans and an insistent nursery rhyme melody to excellent effect.
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