Named after a South-African poet and activist, Zenzile came together in 1996 in Angers, France. Two years later, the band helped build and define the French dub scene with the release of their 4-track EP Dub Promozione. A first album, Sachem in Salem, followed in 1999. Zenzile soon collaborated with a handful of artists, including American poet Jamika Ajalon and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist Femi Kuti. For Totem (2002), the quintet added rock overtones to their sonic palette, while Meta Meta (2006) flirted with electronic beats. In 2010, Zenzile embarked on a tour to support Pawn Shop, released the year before. At the same time, the group worked on a special cinematic live show featuring original music played over footage of German classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.