Asian Dub Foundation (aka ADF) are Master D on vocals, Sun J on keyboards, Dr.Das and Chandrasonic on Guitars, Pandit G who DJ’s and Bubble-E the dancer.
Formed in 1993 after a documentary (called Identical Beat) shot at Farringdon Community Music House in London. It was here that a series of summer workshops teaching Asian children about music technology. These workshops are still important to ADF, they set up Asian Dub Foundation Education (ADFED) to assist the Community Music project and give young people opportunities in music.
Both Dr. Das and Chandrasonic were at teaching courses in running workshops when Master D suggested that they put something together. They had all had previous experience in various outfits; Pandit G had been a youth worker/civil rights worker and had started the Transonic Soundsystem, Dr.Das had been in many bands (From Bhangra and Hindi bands to Experimental Jazz and Dub outfits), Chandrasonic had also been in various bands including an ambient techno group Higher Intelligence Agency, Sun J was a DJ on Freedom FM and Master D had been in Jah-Bhangra the soundsystem from which State of Bengal and Fun-Da-Mental originated.
Pulling influences from punk through jungle, funk, ambient to Bengali folk, reggae and drum’n’bass Asian Dub Foundation are an eclectic mix ofb>Rage Against the Machine, Beastie Boys, The Clash and Public Enemy. They have gained a strong fanbase amongst clubbers, indie kids, world music lovers and many amongst the anti-fascist movement. The last group are impressed by the stance ADF take. ADF got together during a period of considerable anti-Asian violence throughout Britain and have been outspoken on the subject in tracks and interviews – The fantastic “Free Satpal Ram” being a case in point.
Quote : “They insult us by us by assuming all Indian music is meditative and spiritual. That’s like some bollocks Kula Shaker idea of music.”
They also have a reputation as outstanding live performers.
Nation Records put out ADF’s debut EP Conscious in 1994. Their debut album Facts and Fictions (again Nation Records) came out in 1995 and was widely ignored. They went down very well in France though and Virgin France released their second album “R.A.F.I.”. This album was, after being honed on tour, re-recorded and released as the fantastic “Rafi’s Revenge” (London Records). Rafi’s Revenge was greeted with much critical acclaim and received a Mercury Prize nomination.
Quote : “In the end everyone on this planet is an immigrant in some way or the other, everyone.”
Chandrasonic usually says this before they play “Journey”
Primal Scream collaborated with ADF on the single “Free Satpal Ram”, which has done much to draw attention to the situation of this Asian man whom both bands believe is yet another recipient of British rough justice.
The latest album “Community Music” was well recieved (The first album in seven years to get 10/10 from the NME).
In March 2000 the band composed and performed a new soundtrack for the (brilliant) film La Haine at the Barbican.
2001 has Asian Dub Foundation in the Levellers studio in Brighton recording another album (working title “Soundsystem”). ADF have been joined by many artists for the new album – The Invasian rappers, MCs Aktarvata, Spex and Krayzie are on a couple of tracks. Maad Ethics and MC Hermione from Birmingham are there too. Sonia, who sings with London based Hindi dance band Salaam & Funk chips in, Likkle Mai from Japanese reggae band Dry & Heavy has done something, finally Punjabi rhythm section drummer Rocky Singh and dhol player Pritpal Rajput are fleshing out the rhythms.
Quote : “Kill Your Idols!”
ADF’s advice to young people, when it comes to making music.
Steve Chandra Savale, tunes the strings on his guitar to one note like a sitar, turning up his distortion unit and playing it with a knife, earning him the knickname “Chandrasonic.”
ADF call their music Asian Jungle Punk.
Interesting NON fact: Asian Dub Foundation’s Second Album was named after the Pakistani born Bollywood singer and star, Mohamed Rafi. This is RONG!
RAFI actually stands for ‘Real Areas For Investigation’.
Primal Scream called ADF the ‘best live band in England’.
ADF didn’t boycott Austria (because of Haider and his Freedom-party) as many other bands and artists did. They believed that it would be more effective to go and play there for the people, as 70% of Austrians did not vote for Haider.
This profile was wrote (with his best crayon) by Bobster