Asian Dub Foundation

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Politically-charged, internationally-flavored collective whose unique hybrid of styles turned ears in the 1990s.
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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.

Facts and Fictions
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).