At school, Haigh was in a band called Labyrinth playing original material that was influenced by David Bowie and Roxy Music. In the early 1980s Haigh released a series of experimental ambient albums under the names Robert Haigh and Sema – the most notable being ‘Three Seasons Only’ and ‘Notes From Underground’. He also contributed to several Nurse With Wound projects and formed an industrial avant-funk band called The Truth Club together with Trefor Goronwy, who would go on to join This Heat. In a 1994 feature in The Wire on ambient jungle by Simon Reynolds, Haigh's influences were listed as Pere Ubu, The Pop Group, Can, Faust and Neu! as well as Miles Davis and King Tubby.