Selected by Dan
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.
Foundation play Akasaka Blitz on October 3 & 6. See listings for details.