AK1200, America’s original jungle/drum n bass don has been pushing
sound since the music’s initial incarnation as hardcore breakbeat.
of the U.S.’s original proponents of breakbeat music, AK started
1989, playing electro and other beat friendly music of that time. In
he opened a record store in his hometown of Orlando, FL called The Hottie
Shoppe, where he began developing relationships with burgeoning breakbeat
labels such as Suburban Base and Moving Shadow. Via these early
relationships, he quickly became known in the UK as someone who could
spread the message in America, and by 1991, he was writing articles and
reviews in the classic US Rave. Around this same time, Dave Minner also
gained his moniker as AK1200 when fellow Floridian DJ Icey noticed the
hyped-up BPM’s of the tunes Dave would play in The Hottie Shop,
You’re playing so fast that you are like an AK on the 1200’s!” Icey
started throwing raves at The Edge and he would put “Dave AK1200
on the flyer. The name stuck ever since.
For the next few years, AK headlined the second room of countless parties
throughout the US, continuing to make a name for himself. As Jungle music
evolved and became more popular, so did AK1200. Also in 93, he was invited
to the UK again, this time to DJ, and played alongside such greats as
Hype, Mickey Finn, Swift and Zinc, Danny Breaks, SL2, and several others
for a Christmas party for Suburban Base Recordings. AK was also the first
American to play on the UK’s pirate radio, playing alongside Swift
Zinc on Format FM. Back home in the US, Jungle was beginning to finally
get its due, though still hated-on by many of the nations party promoters,
it was too big to be ignored.
At this point there were literally tons of US jungle DJ’s coming
AK searching for something different, found a great appreciation for
lighter side of jungle championed by labels such as Timeless & Good
Looking, which became known as Drum and Bass. AK found light in the
soulful sounds of musical Drum and Bass, and began opening or closing
people like Sasha and Digweed in the main rooms of many raves and clubs
across the US.
Slowly over the later half of the 90’s, AK1200 again enhanced his
and style, giving his fans a smooth transition to the rawest, most
aggressive sounds of the time. By constantly touring nationwide, releasing
4 very highly received mix CD’s on the Moonshine label, remixing
such as The Crystal Method, Rabbit in the Moon, A Tribe Called Quest,
Pistols, Keoki, Cirrus, & Freestyle, AK1200 was regarded as one of
small handful of DJ’s to truly conquer the scene in America.
More recently, AK and longtime colleagues Dieselboy and Dara came to
realize that they on their own had become the top three dnb DJ’s
US, so what would happen if they joined forces? The answer of course,
world domination, and the Planet of the Drums (POTD) crew was born.
At this time, AK also signed with Lakeshore - :\run recordings, and began
work on his most adventurous project to date: a full length studio album…
Two years in the making, “SHOOTTOKILL” marks the debut studio
AK1200. “I felt that I have gone practically as far as one can
go as a DJ.
I have always been interested in production, and thought it was the right
time for an artist album- it was the next logical step for me. I have
many influences musically that you can’t really express as just
a DJ, and
the songs on the album reflect who I am creatively without the limits
what I have to play as a DJ,” states AK. Not wanting to simply
album reflecting whatever the current sound of the moment is in drum
bass, AK chose to make an album that embodies the history of the sound –
which is, in fact, his own history.
SHOOTTOKILL” moves with ease through the many styles of this very
form of music, from the opening modern ragga track “Junior’s
featuring legendary reggae vocalist Junior Reid of Black Uhuru to the
MASSVIE vocal stormer “Fake” feat. Terra Deva (the album’s
to the chill dnb sounds of “Deja Nu”. Another strong thread
album is the sound of Florida. All the songs on SHOOTTOKILL are anchored
with a sonic quality and songwriting level that, no matter what the
country of origin and no matter what genre classification, is impressive.
The future for AK1200 is becoming a reality rather quickly. Plans for
own artist imprint via Lakeshore - :\run recordings are being solidified
now, and POTD members AK, Dieselboy, Dara and newly inducted MC
J-Messinian have already planned on a studio collaboration before the
years end. The incessant touring will of course continue as POTD is
steadily proving that they are as much of a draw as any top name superstar
DJ. As drum and bass and electronic music as a whole both expands and
matures, AK1200 plans to be there leading the charge for the breakbeat
massive at every step of the way.