Prior to their formation, Badmarsh (whose name means 'rascal' in Hindi) worked at the reggae studio Easy Street; which was hiring PA equipment to a nightclub called Labyrinth. After a visit to Labyrinth, he became interested in DJing, and almost immediately went out to buy DJ turntables and records; he later secured a residency position at the club, where he remained for five years. Shri, on the other hand, had spent five years touring with Nitin Sawhney, who later produced his debut solo album Drum the Bass
. The album was well received in Europe.The duo came together through Shabs, head of Outcaste Records, who thought that the pair's individually different sounds would complement each other in a group. The duo released their debut album Dancing Drums
in 1998, which contained a culmination of drum and bass, hip hop, Indian classical music and jazz.
In 2001, Badmarsh & Shri released their second album, Signs
(co-produced by Mike Spencer) through Outcaste Records. A continuation of their musical migration
, the album was considered panoramic dance music by the record's publishers, switching between dancefloor music, and a more sensuous, chilled style.
"We wanted to make music that moved you on the dancefloor as well as at home. Everything had to be emotive, whether it made you angry or made you swoon. But it also had to funk. We wanted it to be about feeling rather than thinking - that was our vision,"Badmarsh and Shri
The duo drew their inspiration from their respective backgrounds of dancehall and hip-hop, as well as funk, Latin and African rhythms. They also made use of strings, synthesizers and flute, along with the vocal talents of UK Apache, who is also considered an integral part of live shows.The title track to Signs
was featured in the closing credits of Battle in Seattle.