Marconi Union formed in 2002 when Richard Talbot and Jamie Crossley met while working at a record shop in Manchester. Their self-produced debut album, Under Wires and Searchlights, appeared in 2003 on the small English independent label Ochre Records. The album was followed with a sustained period of silence only punctuated by a couple of remixes.
They were then picked up in 2005 by All Saints Records, one of the pioneering ambient labels, who released their second album, Distance. This featured a darker, more electronic sound. Plans to release their third album A Lost Connection were thrown into disarray by a major label takeover, to the disappointment of both MU and All Saints decided it was necessary to part ways. Consequently, in July 2008, Marconi Union launched their digital label MU Transmissions to sell their music via their own website. The first release was their long awaited third album A Lost Connection.
The following year, 2009, saw the release of Tokyo on BineMusic, a German label associated with cutting edge electronica. According to press releases and reviews, Tokyo was inspired by media images of the city. In the same year they joined forces with the UK label Just Music, with whom they have released all their subsequent albums, A Lost Connection (2010), Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 1) (2011), Different Colours (2012) and Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 2)(2014). Also in 2012, they re-issued Under Wires and Searchlights and Distance.
Over a period of two years, Talbot and Crossley collaborated with Jah Wobble; together they released an album called Anomic on 30 Hertz records in June of 2013. In 2010, the band announced that Duncan Meadows had joined on a permanent basis, having previously played with them at a number of live gigs. Different Colours was the first album from this new line up.
For over a decade, Marconi Union have performed at various events in the UK and Europe, including Big Chill (UK), Palac Akropolis (Prague) and, in September 2012, they appeared at Punkt Festival in Norway, an event curated by Brian Eno.