Members came from The Giant Sun Trolley & The People Band to create a uniquely improvised music drawing on Eastern raga forms, European folk, experimental and medieval influences. They recorded their first session in 1968 for Ron Geesin which was released under the pseudonym of The National-Balkan Ensemble on one side of a Standard Music Library disk. Their first actual album, Alchemy, was released on the EMI Harvest label in 1969, (featuring John Peel playing Jew's Harp on one track), followed by Air, Earth, Fire, Water (aka Elements) in 1970. They recorded two soundtracks, the first in 1970 for an animated film by Fuchs of Abelard and Heloise (which first saw release as part of Luca Ferrari's Necromancers of the Drifting West Sonic Book in 1997) and then in 1971 for Roman Polanski's film of Macbeth. After various later incarnations & albums they finally disbanded in 1993 owing to leader & percussionist Glen Sweeney's ongoing health problems.
They also opened the Rolling Stones Free Concert at Hyde Park on 5th July 1969.