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Black Star Liner were formed in Leeds in 1994, by Choque Hosein, Tom Salmon, and Chris Harrop. Their music consisted of a mix of asian music (sitar and tabla), dance music and dub reggae.

They formed Soundclash Records to release their initial recordings - Smoke the Prophets EP, and High Turkish Influence.

After receiving single of the week in the NME for Smoke the Prophets, they recorded 3 peel sessions the first of which was was broadcast in April 1995.
The Peel session enabled them to secure a record deal with EXP, which was run by Feargal Sharkey from The Undertones and Richard Norris from The Grid. Their debut album, Yemen Cutta Connection was released in September 1996, with a press launch on Dartmoor involving Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond from The KLF. The album received critical praise, inciuding album of the week in The Guardian.

After the demise of EXP, Rob Dickens from WEA signed Black Star Liner, and they recorded their 2nd album Bengali Bantam Youth Experience, which featured the single Superfly and Bindi. Again receiving substantial critical acclaim, the album was also nominated for the 1999 Mercury Music Prize, and their live act was also praised.

Labelled as part of the Asian Underground, they worked with Tjinder Singh's Cornershop and are featured in the book Brimful of Asia.

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