Asian Dub Foundation was formed in summer 1993 from an education workshop run by Aniruddha Das a.k.a. Dr Das (bass, programming) and assisted by John Pandit a.k.a. Pandit G (mixing)
 which was attended by rapper
Deeder Zaman. This early line-up released the sound-system based Conscious E.P. in late 1993 on
Nation Records. Guitarist /programmer
Steve Chandra Savale was invited to join in early 1994 and ADF became edged towards more of a band format.
 Sanjay Tailor, also known as Sun-J, joined the band as live midi/programmer and DJ soon after. This completed the full live line-up of the band and their debut album
Facts and Fictions was released in late 1995, following the widely-acclaimed
 single "Rebel Warrior".
Initially not widely known in a UK music scene focused on
Britpop, the band honed their skills in
Europe and gained a substantial following particularly in
France where their (French-only) release
R.A.F.I. sold 100,000 copies. In early 1997 the band was signed by
London Records and their British profile was upped considerably by the support of
Primal Scream with whom the band began to tour regularly. Their second album
Rafi's Revenge (1998) combined punk energy with a jungle/reggae core and was nominated for a
Mercury Prize. The single "Naxalite" was an ode to the militant
Naxalite movement in
India. Tours to the
United States (with the
Beastie Boys) and
Their following album,
, developed their sound further and received a coveted 10/10 review in
NME. Also in 2000, ADF played a well-received slot on
Glastonbury Festival's Pyramid stage. At the end of 2000,
Deeder Zaman announced his plans to go solo, his last gig being at Alexandra Palace alongside Primal Scream and
Their first project of 2001 was an ambitious attempt to create a live re-score of
Mathieu Kassovitz's classic film
La Haine at the
Barbican Centre's "Only Connect" festival in London (also featuring
Ennio Morricone and
Ornette Coleman). The gig was a sellout and received much critical praise, particularly from Max Bell and
Steven Wells. They did the piece again by invitation of
David Bowie at his South Bank
Meltdown Festival in 2002; in attendance was Kassovitz himself. The band then went to
Brazil to collaborate with community activist giants Afro-Reggae with new band members MC Aktarv8tr, Spex MC, Rocky Singh (drums), and Prithpal Rajput (
In 2002, Pandit G was awarded the
MBE for "services to the music industry" in relation to his work with Community Music. He declined the award, however, stating:
||I personally don't think it's appropriate. I've never supported the honours system. If you want to acknowledge projects like CM, the work that these organisations do, then fund them. There's no point in giving an individual an accolade to bring people into the establishment; [it] won't actually help the organisations!
"If you want to acknowledge the work of these organisations, prioritise funding so they can grow and expand and do the work that they do (in) creating new music, giving people the opportunities to make music, develop new musicians and create pathways where they can go out and establish themselves in the music industry.
In 2003, they released
Enemy of the Enemy, which became their best-selling album and contained the track "Fortress Europe", an attack on European immigration policy, along with "1000 Mirrors", a collaboration with
Sinéad O'Connor about a woman serving life for killing an abusive husband. In 2003, they played their biggest gig in front of 100,000 people at
France at a celebration of
José Bové, a radical campaigning farmer. For 2005's
Tank, they were joined by
On-U Sound collaborator Ghetto Priest on vocals, with the help of
The band continued performing their La Haine soundtrack around the world for the next five years. They developed this approach in 2004 with another improvised soundtrack to the film
The Battle of Algiers, first performing the piece at the Brighton Dome on the same day that photographs of
torture in Abu Ghraib were released.
In 2005, they won "Best Underground" at the
UK Asian Music Awards.
Bassist Dr Das announced his intention to retire in May 2006 to resume teaching and produce his own music. He was replaced by Martin Savale, a.k.a. Babu Stormz, who also plays bass with British-Asian electro/grunge/hip-hop band
In September 2006, the dub/punk opera "Gaddafi: A Living Myth", with music by ADF, opened at the
London Coliseum. In Spring 2007, Asian Dub Foundation announced the release of a
best of compilation
Time Freeze: The Best of Asian Dub Foundation which included a bonus disc of rare remixes and live tracks, including a live recording of a
Public Enemy song featuring
Chuck D. The album also featured a new track recorded with former vocalist Deeder Zaman. In May 2007 ADF performed a radio session and interview on the
Nihal show on
BBC Radio 1 where they performed three new tracks: "Climb On", "Superpower" and "S.O.C.A.". In June 2007, they were the only Western act to perform at the Festival of
Gnawa music in
Morocco playing to a crowd of 60,000 people and collaborating with traditional Gnawa musicians.
In August 2007, Asian Dub Foundation started playing with two new vocalists, Al Rumjen (previously and subsequently with
King Prawn) and Aktarv8r, who returned after MC Spex was asked to leave the band due to personal issues. In November/December 2007, Asian Dub Foundation recorded a new album,
The Go! Team producer, Gareth Parton, on one track. It was released in March 2008 and followed by a tour of Europe and Japan.
In 2009, ADF contributed to the Indigenous Resistance project after having met up with the Atenco movement in
Mexico. Asian Dub Foundation started work on their new album, provisionally entitled "A New London Eye", which would feature Ministry of Dhol, Nathan "Flutebox" Lee, Chi 2 and Skrein. The album eventually came out as The History of Now and the band toured extensively to promote it. The cover contained many fantasy iPhone "Apps" intended to parody the contemporary age.
In May 2012, the band was asked by immersive pop-up subversives
Secret Cinema to revive their live soundtrack to La Haine at
Broadwater Farm (scene of
riots in 1985) and also performed the piece in
Paris the night of the French elections. Later that year ADF were rejoined by Dr. Das, Ghetto Priest and Rocky Singh. They recorded a new album,
The Signal and the Noise, and headlined a series of festivals including "Bearded Theory" and "Asigiri Jam" in Japan.
In 2014, the band debuted their latest live soundtrack, to
George Lucas's first feature-length film. George Lucas and his collaborator
Walter Murch gave their blessing to the project and it was performed at the Brooklyn Festival in
Prospect Park which led to an Arts Council Sponsored Tour of the UK in 2015. ADF signed a label deal with Believe records in 2015 and released More Signal More Noise on their own ADF Communications imprint, an enhanced version of the 2013 Japanese release. They were joined in early 2015 by ex-
The Prodigy drummer Brian Fairbairn and have since toured
Italy with a revived version of their La Haine soundtrack, performed an Arts Council sponsored tour of THX 1138, recorded a
BBC Radio 6 session for
Tom Robinson and played headline slots at WOMAD and
Boomtown festivals in 2016.
In June 2017, it was announced that the band is working on an upcoming album which is set to be released in 2017.