Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Asian Dub Foundation

Asian Dub Foundation

Japan just can' get enough. Soon on the heels of a July appearance at the Fuji Rock Festival, England's band with a conscience, Asian Dub Foundation, returns for a two-gig engagement at Tokyo's Akasaka Blitz.

Formed in 1993 as an outgrowth of the documentary Identical Beat, Asian Dub Foundation's irresistibly infectious blend of drum 'n' bass, punk and politics has found fertile soil in Japan. And with good reason: ADF offers one of the few rays of optimism and commitment in a largely apolitical, apathetic pop landscape.

Shot at London's Farringdon Community Music House, Identical Beat looked at a workshop designed to teach Asian children the basics of music technology. Workshop tutors bassist/tabla player Aniruddha Das, DJ John Pandit and participant 15-year-old Bengali rapper Deedar Zaman soon launched a sound system, calling themselves Asian Dub Foundation. Adding guitarist Steve Chandra Savala a.k.a. Chandrasonic, they released their debut EP Conscious on Nation Records in 1994.

Emerging at a time of anti-Asian violence in the UK, ADF were unhesitating in their opposition to racial violence - a stance that suffuses their music. But the band's political commitment was matched by their commitment to music, which lays Bengali melodies over formidable drum 'n' bass rhythms, singer Deedar's Jamaican-influenced raps raising a call to action above the maelstrom. Earning a reputation for a stellar live show, ADF - now with the addition of dancer Bubble-E and second DJ Sun-J - quickly gained a loyal fanbase not only among clubbers, but also rockers.

Facts and Fictions, their first full-length, appeared in 1995; Spilt Single appeared in 1997; Raffi's Revenge came in 1998, while last year's Community Music served simply to cement their reputation.

After wrapping up appearances at summer rock festivals, ADF are planning to return to the studio to "reinvent" themselves on a new album. "The last album was the final statement of that way of doing things," guitarist Chandrasonic recently told NME. "We'll be moving on and changing the whole thing."

Booked to play with ADF are Japan's Audio Active, long time leaders of Tokyo's electro-dub movement and a band noted for a thunderous live show themselves.

Asian Dub Foundation play Akasaka Blitz on October 3 & 6. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana