Jamie T’s second album in two years is a punk, rap, pop and hardcore tour de force
Asian Dub Foundation : London Hackney Ocean
The issues Asian Dub Foundation raised, and continue to raise, are still relevant, and have added groove power...
A concept that grew out of community spirit is hard to fully break apart; the issues Asian Dub Foundation raised, and continue to raise, remain relevant; and the introduction of MCs Spex, Aktarvata, and Cezvee creates even more room for a shouty and bouncy affair.
If anything, Asian Dub Foundation have got more adept at groove power, with the hybrid reggae rhythms, hip-hop beats and guitar crunch also finding space for some Eastern modalities on the melody front. New songs like 'Rise To The Challenge' address the state of the world, post-September 11. 'Fortress Europe', with its visions of a 21st Century Exodus, insists refugees and asylum seekers have a right to be here. And the woozy harmonics of 'La Haine' brilliantly evoke the Paris-set film of the same name, dealing with life from the point of view of suburban housing-project dwellers.
Familiar favourites like 'Naxalite' and 'Free Satpal Ram' also get a good dusting-down. And it’s to Asian Dub Foundation’s credit that they've retained the core of what they're about, whilst increasing percussion levels on the sampler and roping in a wandering drummer. Even if fashion-conscious people with attention-span deficits dismiss 'em haughtily, it's safe to say Asian Dub Foundation ain't going nowhere in a hurry.
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