Asian Dub Foundation The Enemy of the Enemy

Asian Dub Foundation have always had an unparalleled reputation for their masterful mix of music and politics. Unfortunately, they may have sacrificed it on The Enemy of the Enemy. Much of the problem has to do with replacement mic-handlers, Spex and Aktarvata. The duo lack the menacing bite of former lead MC, Deedar Zaman, and have few powerful insights to share — save the critique of ghetto violence on "La Haine.” However, they do have a lot of energy, especially when it comes to sparking the call against globalisation on anthems like "Rise to the Challenge,” "Basta” and "Power to the Small Massive.” Their youthful presence is momentarily offset when Sinéad O’Connor steps up on "1000 Mirrors” to voice the spirit of Zoora Shah, a British-Asian woman currently in prison for taking violent action against her abusive husband. Though the verses would probably have been much more poetic and even cross-culturally interesting if the Irish diva-Rasta participated in the songwriting (as she did with Massive Attack on 100th Window), her delivery is nonetheless haunting. The sonic remainder of The Enemy is otherwise outstanding. Dr. Das continues to be athletic in his bass lines and Chandrasonic’s guitar-noise emissions are more euphoric than angry. The band has also augmented their junglist-punk signature with the addition of Toronto émigré Rocky Singh on drums and Prithpal Rajput on dhol and tabla, the latter of who counterpoints ADF’s dub origins with a Punjabi take on roots. Expertly thrown together by Adrian Sherwood, none of these sounds are pleasurable so much as forceful, invigorating and definitely louder than the words (Virgin)