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Asian Dub Foundation: Community Music

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 30, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2009 reissue of this essential album from the genre-bending British outfit who have a strong fanbase not only among clubgoers but also among the anti-fascist movement, who applauded the group's vocal stand against racism. Community Music was originally released in 2000. 14 tracks. Naive.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B001LFDK82
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
With ADF's accomplishment of producing one of the 1990s best albums with "Rafi's Revenge", their follow-up "Community Music" was sure to be under the microscope of critics and fans alike. In ADF's typical underdog-determination fashion, they more than struck back. How? By changing the game of course. Instead of producing "Rafi's Double Revenge" they pushed their musical boundaries even further than before. Sounds and textures that one would never associate with ADF abound throughout this album, but instead of standing out, they blend in to provide even greater depth and insight into ADF's global vision both musically and lyrically. "New Way, New Life" bigs up England's "local" South Asian heroes that helped our first generation parents to survive and consequently give us the courage to strive and succeed. "Rebel Warrior (Ami Bidrohi)" is a re-recorded version of the classic Nazrul Islam influenced track that appeared on their debut in 1995's "Facts and Fictions". Musically it is very similar to the original, but a slightly older Deeder (he was only 15/16 when the original was recorded) spits it out with even more aggression and conviction, still ending with a sincere cry to unity between Hindus and Muslims. The late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan graces "Taa Deem", while Assata Shakur's spoken word on "Committed to Life (Reluctant Warrior)" galvanizes ADFs commitment to the cause. The album ends with the mesmerizing and appropriately titled "Scaling New Heights" which is an instrumental as musically diverse and moving as ADF has ever ventured into. With "Community Music" ADF have triumphed in taking their vision across musical, political, and social boundaries that have rarely been crossed before.
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By A Customer on January 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps the U.S. music press/supplicants of the recording industry's advertising largesse have overlooked this bunch, but the Brits have not. The UK's "New Musical Express" gave it a rare 10/10 rating.
If you've read only the reviews on this page (no disrespect to any of the other reviewers intended), you may get the sense that ADF are a provincial, acquired exotic taste. They really aren't. I am not of South Asian background. My reaction: NME's comparison of this CD with Public Enemy's classic "Fear of a Black Planet" is dead on. The sonic textures are just as crushingly dense and complex. And while Chuck D is by far the better lyricist, ADF, with effortless mastery, deploys a much broader ethnomusicological vocabulary and arguably proves more innovative. But not in an inaccessible way that marginalizes them or relegates them to some kind of "world music" ghetto. Anyone who likes Public Enemy, Massive Attack, or the Chemical Brothers will love this adrenaline-fueled stuff. Small wonder that Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Massive Attack have recently collaborated with these guys.
While some of the lyrics may speak most directly to the South Asian diaspora, the radical politics are not as provincial as some Desi-centric reviewers might suggest. Yes, the political sensibility doesn't get much beyond sloganeering. But that's true for most "pop" lyrics. And at least these guys are sincere. ADF's Pandit G even recently refused the Queen's offer of an MBE award "for services to the music industry."
The bottom line: this is great stuff that will broaden your musical horizons...at the same time it blows your brains out!
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By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Well, what can I say? A new ADF album, and they definitely have matured a great deal since Rafi's Revenge. This time around they really bring the dub to the name "Asian Dub Foundation." Most of the tracks are set at a skankable reggae/ska/dub pace, with breaks, beats, samples, and plenty of asian flavor thrown in for good measure. Missing, unfortunately, are the furiously mashed up "amen" jungle rhythms of Rafi's Revenge. The fury of tracks like "Black and White," "Charge," and "Culture Move" (great Navigator collaboration) from the last album are greatly missed. Instead we get some more subtle jungle flirtations like "Taa Deem" and slower (but funky) breakbeat experimentations like "Riddim I like." Not bad at all. Politically conscious lyrics AND excellent rhythms. What more can you ask for? Can't wait to see them live here in the US.
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Format: Audio CD
Though few critics seem to have noticed, this CD delivers on the potential seen in earlier ADF releases to create a potent mix of ragamuffin rhyming, tight dub/jungle beats (with sounds produced mainly by ADF's incredible live players), and 2nd gen. South Asian conscious lyrics.
(Maybe if there were more Desi rock critics, there might have been greater awareness as to the brilliance of ADF).
"Community music" not so much geared towards the club dancefloor as it is in making you think and react.
My favorite track on the lyrical tip is "New way, new life." ADF have become storytellers for the South Asian immigrant experience, telling our story of struggle and survival in a hostile and alien environment. In a way, the song also justifies the whole mainstream Desi Bollywood entertainment industry -- for our parents at least, it was a link to community and culture without which they would have had an even tougher time.
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