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Spanning three decades, James Asher's music career began with a long stint composing non-commercial music for soundtracks and library pieces. After deciding to delve deeper and make more serious compositions, he released his commercial debut, The Great Wheel, in 1990. The album reached number 13 on the new age chart and remained on the charts for about two years. After releasing his 1993 album, Globalarium, on Silver Wave Records, he signed with New Earth Records, who issued the majority of his recordings for the remainder of the '90s. Stylistically, Asher's compositions fell into two camps — percussion-driven ethnic fusion best displayed by his Feet in the Soil and Feet in the Soil 2 records, and gentler works with a more classic new age sound like his 1995 album, Ocean of Stars. Two years later, Asher issued Pemulwuy, which was named in celebration for a strong, legendary Aborigine. He returned to Indian world beats on 1998's Tigers of the Raj, and 1999's Coulours of Trance highlighted Asher's fondness for the poetry of Madeleine Doherty. In the following years he would remix and repackage Tigers of the Raj twice, deliver a sequel to Feet in the Soil, and release his first collaboration with Indian drummer Sivamani (2002's Shaman Drums.)