AK1200, Americas original jungle/drum n bass don has been pushing the sound since the musics initial incarnation as hardcore breakbeat. As one of the U.S.s original proponents of breakbeat music, AK started DJing in 1989, playing electro and other beat friendly music of that time. In 1990, 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 BPMs of the tunes Dave would play in The Hottie Shop, and said Youre playing so fast that you are like an AK on the 1200s! Icey started throwing raves at The Edge and he would put Dave AK1200 Minner 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 UKs pirate radio, playing alongside Swift and 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 DJs coming up, and AK searching for something different, found a great appreciation for the 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 for people like Sasha and Digweed in the main rooms of many raves and clubs across the US.
Slowly over the later half of the 90s, AK1200 again enhanced his sound 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 CDs on the Moonshine label, remixing many acts such as The Crystal Method, Rabbit in the Moon, A Tribe Called Quest, Dub Pistols, Keoki, Cirrus, & Freestyle, AK1200 was regarded as one of a very small handful of DJs 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 DJs in the US, so what would happen if they joined forces? The answer of course, was 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 album from 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 so many influences musically that you cant really express as just a DJ, and the songs on the album reflect who I am creatively without the limits of what I have to play as a DJ, states AK. Not wanting to simply make an album reflecting whatever the current sound of the moment is in drum and 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 diverse form of music, from the opening modern ragga track Juniors Tune featuring legendary reggae vocalist Junior Reid of Black Uhuru to the MASSVIE vocal stormer Fake feat. Terra Deva (the albums lead single), to the chill dnb sounds of Deja Nu. Another strong thread throughout the 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 his 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.