Asian Dub Foundation: A History of Now (Cooking Vinyl)

 |   |  1 min read

Asian Dub Foundation: In Another Life
Asian Dub Foundation: A History of Now (Cooking Vinyl)

Nobody would thank you for being so politically incorrect as to observe that much of this is just a politicised Asian-British version of nu-metal: lots of raging against the machine; rock guitars colliding with white-knuckle rap (with tabla); plenty of socio-political sloganeering (the title track which yells "you can't download me" and "living the history of now", which might require a footnote); the fair-enough and rather timeless question Where Has All the Money Gone . . .

But of course in other ears such permanently angry, occasionally apocalyptic fury gives the long-running ADF some kind of global reach, although it needs to be said selling anger to the disenfranchised isn't that difficult. 

Much as British critics have wanted to like this, you only need to read between the lines of reviews see what might be called special pleading taking place. Much of this isn't as necessary as many would have you believe.

But . . .

The exceptional In Another Life weaves through superb programming, dub dynamics, crashing guitar chords and Indo-jazz percussion and self-questioning. It is an absolute standout amidst much of the sound and fury (which too often are just signifiers of, if not nothing then little more than unfocused indignation and anger).

That this seminal ADF track is followed by a reflective instrumental (Power of 10) suggests they knew the emotional power of it, and that it might be the defining moment here.

The global nu-metal/rap-rock begins again thereafter so the terrific, energetic and percussion-driven collaboration with the pan-Leftist Indigeneous Resistance on This Land is Not For Sale is lost in the closing third unfortunately. But that is where this album really begins.

Start with In Another Life and follow on through, then loop back to the start from there and this album makes much more sense as the polemics take second place to genuinely combustible and transferable passion.

Like the sound of this? Then make sure you check out these people.

Share It

Your Comments

andrei - May 3, 2011

great song and awesome band, keep it up, guys.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

75 Dollar Bill: I Was Real (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

75 Dollar Bill: I Was Real (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

Anyone who saw the extraordinary Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania at Womad Taranaki in 2018 couldn't help but be impressed by her husband on guitar whose playing was fluid, mercurial, seemingly... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

Alongside his Alzheimer's diagnosis and a farewell tour comes this self-announced “final studio album” by the 75-year old legend whose career spans from LA session guitar work in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Melbourne, Australia: Little photos, big stories

Melbourne, Australia: Little photos, big stories

Barely two minutes walk from furiously busy Flinders Street Station in central Melbourne is an extraordinary sixth floor museum which few locals know about. And even fewer visitors to the city.... > Read more

BOB DYLAN, AGAINST ALL ODDS, 2009; PHOTO ESSAY #4 (2018): Coming in from the storm

BOB DYLAN, AGAINST ALL ODDS, 2009; PHOTO ESSAY #4 (2018): Coming in from the storm

Although there were no photographers and phone photos allowed at the recent Bob Dylan concert in Auckland, the promoters and Dylan's management provided images to the media to cover any articles... > Read more