Formed: 1993 in Farringdon, London, England
Group Members: Aniruddha Das, Sun-J, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Bubble E, Deedar Zaman
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Club/Dance, Electronica, England
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 which 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 knickname "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 fanbase 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 stand-out live performers, the band - which 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.
-Jason Ankeny (All Music Guide)