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Audio Active were one of the most successful reggae bands to come out of Japan, and were formed in 1991, comprising singer Masa, 2DD, Shigemoto Nanao and bassist Takeshi Akimoto. Masa had listened to reggae since he was a teenager, and had played (with 2DD) in the ska band Vital Connection, before taking his love of roots reggae and dub music and forming Audio Active, named after an album by Dennis Bovell.
Adrian Sherwood began working with the band in 1992, and produced many of their recordings. The band's debut album The Way Out is the Way In, was recorded with zither player Laraaji, and Sherwood produced their Happy Shopper in Europe album, released on his On-U Sound label in 1995. Their 1997 album Apollo Choco was described by Allmusic as "an example of new and exciting dub, which shows Audio Active's true capabilities".
Further albums followed on On-U Sound, Warner Music Group, and Gyroscope, the last, Back To The Stoned Age, released in 2003. The band were strongly influenced by Lee "Scratch" Perry, with elements of hip hop.
Original member Akimoto left, to be replaced by Kasai. Akimoto, along with Nanao, formed the lovers-rock influenced band Dry & Heavy.