Asian Dub Foundation
Long before East is East made Asian culture ‘cool’, when Slumdog Millionaire was a mere twinkle in Danny Boyle’s eye, London outfit Asian Dub Foundation were busy honing their craft, fusing traditional Asian instruments with drum and bass beats into a palatable package.
Their debut album failed to set the charts alight, and save for an underground following, the group was largely ignored. Fast forward 15 years via a Mercury Prize nomination and tours with the Beastie Boys and Primal Scream, and ADF are a critically-acclaimed collective with 12 albums under their belt.
As latest album A History Of Now testifies, frontman Chandrasonic and the rest of the ADF crew don’t stray much from the sound they crafted over a decade ago, but that’s largely because they don’t need to. ADF’s signature sound is a rich mix of dubstep, drum and bass, reggae, punk rock and traditional Indian music; think sitars and the like. Toe-tapping guaranteed.
Never ones to shy away from controversy, many of the band’s lyrics are politically charged, with their songs often covering social injustices, racism and the struggles facing ethnic minorities.
Whether intentional or not, ADF helped propel Indian and Pakistani music into the mainstream way before the Pussycat Dolls and Punjabi MC started out. And despite being around for almost 20 years, they still sound fresh and vital.
Winter is firmly behind us, spring is in the air and summer is on the horizon. Seems like the perfect time to check out a group this vibrant, positive and energetic.