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Asian Dub Foundation

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  • Formed: Farringdon, London, England
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Asian Dub Foundation formed in 1993 as an outgrowth of the documentary Identical Beat, a film shot at London's Farringdon Community Music House, the site of a series of summer workshops designed to teach Asian children the essentials of music technology. In charge of the workshops were tutor Aniruddha Das and youth worker John Pandit, also a noted DJ; with one of their students, a 15-year-old Bengali rapper named Deedar Zaman, they soon formed a sound system that they called the Asian Dub Foundation. After each adopted an alias -- bassist/tabla player Das became Dr. Das, Pandit became Pandit G, and Zaman became Master D -- they gradually evolved into a working band with the 1994 addition of former Higher Intelligence Agency guitarist Steve Chandra Savale, an innovative performer known for tuning his strings to one note like a sitar, turning up the distortion unit, and playing his instrument with a knife, earning him the nickname "Chandrasonic." Emerging in the midst of considerable anti-Asian violence throughout Britain, the Foundation's early demos landed them a contract with Nation Records, and they recorded their debut EP, Conscious, in 1994.

Channeling influences ranging from punk to ambient music to Bengali folk songs, Asian Dub Foundation quickly gained a strong fan base not only among clubgoers but also among the anti-fascist movement, who applauded the group's vocal stand against racism. After earning a reputation as standout live performers, the Foundation -- who now included dancer Bubble-E and second DJ Sun-J -- won widespread acclaim for the 1995 single "Rebel Warrior." Their first full-length effort, Facts and Fictions, followed later that same year, and in 1998 Asian Dub Foundation returned with Rafi's Revenge. Community Music appeared in mid-2000, followed later that year by another full-length, R.A.F.I. Subsequent Asian Dub Foundation albums have included Enemy of the Enemy (2003) and Tank (2005).