Review: Asian Dub Foundation @ Electric Brixton (London, 9th October 2015)

This was a sort of homecoming… Because to enjoy an Asian Dub Foundation full-band performance with all the trimmings, including their celebrated DJ-set, it’s not an everyday thing even if you’re in London and the sextet is still the best expression of the city music scene.

The band has indeed diversified its offerings in recent years, embarking on a wide range of projects and collaborations of the most different natures.

However, despite twenty years having passed since their début, Asian Dub Foundation are deeply influenced by and portraying the souls of the British capital, today like in 1993.

The occasion that brought Asian Dub Foundation back in London was the launch of their latest effort More Signal, More Noise. But, actually, the gig turned out to be something more…

On the Electric Brixton stage, the six artists have shown for the nth time that they have that little extra something, which differentiate an average band from an outstanding one as they are.

In fact, Chandrasonic, Dr Das, Sun-J and music partners are not used to performing the bare minimum and kept on playing to the point of exhaustion.

They unfolded the latecomers work almost in its entirety, triggering off the audience with thunderous arrangements of “Zig Zag Nation” and “The Signal and the Noise”.

Then, they went far over the borders of their recent work and revived some of their most acclaimed tunes for the joy of their fans.

As an illustration, as soon as Chandrasonic started articulating the unmistakable riff on his guitar and Pandit G esclamed “this one is called Naxalite”, the venue literally exploded and both hardliner and last-minute fans wildly danced side-by-side until the last echo faded away.

Cultural inclusiveness has always been one of the strong points of Asian Dub Foundation project; among their audience you can easily spot the most diverse music listeners because their tunes have always been open to any influence and contamination.

More Signal, More Noise is just a single but incredibly meaningful example of the band’s attitude. The albums live rendition showed how the musicians can easily juggle between their beloved dub, reggae, hip-hop, punk and electronic, London-Indian bhangra tradition and more up-and-coming global accents.

So instead of forcing them into the “political band” definition, let’s just say that Asian Dub Foundation are still one of the most socially significant projects out there and hopefully they’ll keep on being an enlightened cultural example for another twenty years (at least).

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