The best things heard, seen and tasted by Asian Dub Foundation’s Chandrasonic

Ummm what year is it? Oh yeah, 2013.

Sorry had a complete mash-up night in Brussels last night, a full power event in the city centre, 5000 people jumpin’ for justice… recall a bit damaged…

Congo Natty is breathing new conscious life into Jungle – drum ‘n’ bass precursor for those that don’t know. New album Jungle Revolution does what it says on the tin and set to keep on doin’ it on 4th October at our beloved VU! Get the vibe.

A lot of Congo’s vids are directed by a genius in our midst who goes under the name of Global Faction, a true guerilla film maker who only lends his immense skills to those with something to say. He directed our latest ‘Radio Bubblegum’ but check also his blinding vid for ‘Manmahon Nation’ by MSG which of course has been banned in India.

But don’t stop there, Mr Faction has scores of videos (featuring artists like Lowkey and Caxton Press) that represent what is a very healthy conscious rap scene in the UK . Talking of being banned in India ADF’s Calcutta-based director mate known as Q has managed to escape that in 2013, unlike his previous sex, drugs and surrealism rollercoaster ride of a film known as ‘Gandu’ (“Arsehole”) which blew out various censorious gaskets.

His new venture is a radical reworking of the Bengali epic poem Tasher Desh about a man washed ashore on an island controlled by human-sized playing cards. Yeah ok, we’re on the soundtrack, but it looks like it’s gonna be ace and is actually being released in Indian cinemas and coming here soon!

Back to music, was great to see Thurston Moore divining forbidden sounds from the guitar as only he can with his excellent new(ish) band Chelsea Light Moving. Sure they’re like Sonic Youth, of course they would be, but being like SY at their very best is something the world needs on a drip. Another excellent show I witnessed down at VU.

It seems I am not alone in thinking that TV drama has become one of the most innovative arenas in the last decade in content and format (i.e. Netflix ENCOURAGING binge-watching). Everyone knows The Wire and, like half the world, I have just finished watching the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad which just gets better and better. I loved the French series The Returned and I also recommend the underrated Hannibal, a surprisingly chilling updating of what I thought was the done-to-death Hannibal Lecter saga. I am still untangling my neural pathways from the psychopathic murk that the last few episodes of that series drowned me in. And Mads Mikkelsen (as Lecter) is the Christopher Lee of his generation. To most British ears the idea of a festival run by the French Communist Party does not appeal – and may even horrify. But having played there for the second time last week I can confirm that the long-established Fête de l’Humanité is one of the world’s great festivals.

Uniquely internationalist, amongst others I heard music from militant Western Saharans, killer Kurdistani grooves, smash-up Madagascan ragga, I saw strange dances by ethereal Chavez -loving supermodels, and ate probably the best cooked and the most diverse food I’ve ever seen at any festival. Every tent contained a restaurant with set places, this being as much a food and drink festival as a music do. Everyone was incredibly friendly – as of course they would be – this was a festival with a purpose for a change. And not a hippy / new age / bad curry in sight. In fact, it was a lot of ordinary and sometimes very brave for example, the Iraqi tent. People from all over the world were being creative, having fun and dreaming the same dream. Plus, we played a killer gig on a fantastic stage.

Asian Dub Foundation are playing Village Underground on 15th November here’s a short blast