very different musical forces from different backgrounds who all share a love
of dub, that Jamaican instrumental reggae offshoot, join forces in two of springs
A group created in 1993 out of a community project
to teach music to disadvantaged youth in Britain, Asian Dub Foundations
hybrid of earthshaking drumnbass rhythms, haunting Indian melodies,
and feisty Jamaican dancehall rap struck an immediate chord with a Japan just
beginning to rediscover its Asian-ness in the 90s.
Adrian Sherwood, meanwhile, has been legendary in Japan since releases from his
own On-U Sound label created a new meeting point between the subsonic vibrations
of Jamaican dub and the budding electronica movement, with acts like African Head
Charge and Gary Clail greatly influencing the future of UK techno.
final piece of the puzzle are Dry & Heavy, a Tokyo-based roots dub unit who
have shown that Japan has its own contribution to make to the worldwide diaspora
of dub that has taken it far beyond its Jamaican roots.
The lynchpin that
has brought these three diverse acts together, apart from their love of dubs
earth-shaking bass, is Japans Beatink, a label and promoter whose Australian
founder, Ray Hearn, has been tireless in promoting UK dub, electronica and Japan,
and who has been getting the message out abroad about like-minded Japanese acts.
The upcoming Japan tour finds Asian Dub Foundation at a critical juncture
in its decade of existence. Following 2000s inspired Community Music, the
band lost charismatic frontman Master D, with founders bassist Dr D, DJ Pandit
G and guitarist Chandrasonic reconfiguring the lineup with two new rappers for
the just-released Enemy of the Enemy (Virgin).
In a way it seems
new, Pandit G told Designer magazine about the new ADF, but for us
I suppose looking at it, it hasnt been. The two new rappers, Aktar and Spex,
have come out of ADFED [Asian Dub Foundation Education], and they came out of
a workshop wed done between the last five to seven years.
album also has ADF working with Adrian Sherwood, who imparts a distinctively spacey
touch to their fiery Asian jungle punk. Sherwood was overlooking the whole
thing as executive producer and just suggesting things and of course knowing us
for so long and what our music was about. Our music has always had a very On-U
Sound element to it as well.
Meanwhile, in light of September 11,
ADFs focus on the disenfranchisement of immigrant Asian and other minority
communities in Britain took on new poignancy. I think it has internationalized
things that were quite local, Pandit G said. Anyone from minority
communities are starting to feel the pressure.
With the title, the
group point ironically to the origin of figures like Osama bin Laden as an enemy
of the enemy who was nurtured as an opposition fighter against the Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan. They also make politically controversial proposals
such as mass immigration to countries that dominate the world economy.
in this weeks concerts, expect politics to play second fiddle to bone-rattling
bass lines, inexorable rhythms and brain-melting effects, as three continent-spanning
musical pioneers deliver their own takes on dub.
Dub Foundation play Akasaka Blitz on April 2 (sold out) and Club Citta on April
5. See listings for details.