It' been a busy fall for Japan's Space
Cowboys, electro-dub group Audio Active. Not only do they have a fresh album out, Spaced
Dolls, but they supported Asian Dub Foundation in their Japan tour earlier this fall,
before launching their own tour across Europe to support the new album.
Since releasing their first, eponymously titled album in 1993, Audio Active have become a
one-band movement, fighting indefatigably in the cause of their favorite music, dub and
their favorite weed, marijuana. Citing inspirations like Sun Ra, Jimi Hendrix and Lee
Scratch Perry, the five-piece established an ongoing partnership with legendary English
dub producer Adrian Sherwood. Sherwood oversaw the recording of their first hit single,
"Free The Marijuana," which became something of a dope anthem, and subsequent
releases Apollo Choco, Return of the Red I, and their current album.
Incessant touring in Japan, Europe and the US has also shaped a strong word of mouth
following for Audio Active, whose live show combines elements of techno, ambient, rock and
dub with singer Masa's outrageous antics for an appeal that has been embraced by clubbers
and rock and reggae fans alike.
Following in recent tradition, Audio Active will close the year with a Happers All Star
tour, headlining with offshoot orthodox Jamaican roots dub unit Dry & Heavy in a tour
that is likely to envelop Japan in a pleasant haze of reverb and pot smoke.
Audio Active play
Shibuya AX on 12/22. See listings for details.