State of Bengal is a group headed by Sam Zaman that emerged from Britain's Asian underground music scene. The scene got its start at London's Anoka club. Zaman's ensemble has made considerable contributions to the world of ethno-techno, combining Asian elements with traditional dance beats.
Zaman was born in India and moved on to Bangledesh,Turkey, and Jordon before landing in London's East End. The racism that Zaman experienced during his youth turned into an outlet for his music and by 15 he was DJing community organized events. From playing around the community at anti-racist events, the sound of the early stages of the State of Bengal formed. Its first rappers included MC Mustaq (who went on to Fun-Da-Mental) and Zaman's brother MC Deedar, who moved on to form the Asian Dub Foundation.
As a result of Zaman's time at Anoka, he did a number of remixes including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Massive Attack. That year he also opened for Bjork on her global tour and did production work for Ananda Shanker right before Ananda passed. In 2000, State of Bengal made a strong full-length introduction with their album Visual Audio. Tani Tani, State of Bengal's first release for Peter Gabriel's Real World imprint, followed in 2004. ~ Diana Potts