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AK1200, America’s original bad boy has been rinsing the sound since the days of hardcore break beat. He started DJing in 1989, playing electro and other beat friendly music of that time. In 1990, he opened a record store called The Hottie Shoppe, where he began developing relationships with new labels at that time, Suburban Base and Moving Shadow. Quickly, he 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”.
In the later half of 1992, break beat music had literally worn out its welcome within the “underground” scene, and was quickly replaced by Progressive house. At that point nearly everyone in the US hopped on the bandwagon, leaving but a handful of dedicated break beat enthusiasts. The music itself took a much different direction by becoming more dark and more underground, truly weeding out the rest of the unfaithful, and this is where AK came full force, playing anywhere in the US he could, for free even, just to spread the sound. As “jungle” developed, AK teamed up with DJ Jeffee on a small magazine called “Junglized”, which quickly became a nationwide must have for anyone who needed his or her fix. Around this time, AK began traveling to the UK quite a bit, getting more and more involved with this worldwide scene.
His first taste of production came in late 93 by remixing a Flex and Fats track called “Somebody”, which was featured on Sub Base and Moving Shadow’s “Joint” series. 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, AK 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. He was also the first American to play on the UK’s 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 by many of the nations promoters, it was too big to be ignored. This is when most of today’s US DJ’s got their start. 95 and 96 was all about hardstep jungle and rudeboy ragga jump up, which even at that time was very similar to one another.
At this point there were literally tons of US jungle DJ’s coming up, and AK searching for something different, found a great appreciation for the lighter side of jungle, which became known as Drum and Bass. It was Jungle without all the hardest edges that played off of rhythms and jazzy vibes or funk instead of hip-hop and ragga. 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. Then as this style began to stray away from its roots, AK1200 again got bored with the sound, and went back to playing traditional Jungle, which at this point, was also classified as Drum and Bass.
In late 96, AK had already championed most everything a DJ could, and began focusing on production. After getting a call from FFRR and being asked to contribute a track to an upcoming Florida artist compilation called “Sunshine State Of Mind”, AK trekked down to Miami, where he produced “you hear me talking” in just 14 hours. This track was instantly a hit for people who weren’t familiar with DnB. AK quickly jumped at the opportunity to be the person that familiarizes people to Drum and Bass. This was truly where AK1200 got his popularity, and what was most fun for him. This is was like starting all over again for him, being able to show people who never really gave the style a chance, how good the music really is. To him it was much better to open new minds to the music, than to please ones already there.
Slowly AK1200 enhanced his sound and style, giving his fans a smooth transition to the rawest most aggressive sounds of today. By constantly touring nationwide, releasing several mix cd’s on Moonshine, remixing many electronica acts like Keoki, Cirrus, Crystal Method, Rabbit in the Moon, Dub Pistols, and others like Freestyle, and Tribe called Quest, AK1200 was regarded as one of a very small handful of DJ’s to truly conquer the scene in America. His track with long time friend Danny Breaks, Pornstar style, which featured Alicia Rio, became an instant novelty classic, and was quickly picked up by Moving Shadow.
Even with all this success and accomplishment, there was still something missing. AK and longtime colleagues Dieselboy and Dara, came to realize that they on their own have become the top three guys in the US, what could they do if they were together? The answer of course, was world domination, and the Planet of the Drums was born.
In 2000, the POD planned a small tour with no idea or hopes really of what was to come. It was an absolute smash. Every show was completely rammed, and every single face in the crowd had a smile. They then knew this was the beginning of a very long ride. They found that strength grows in numbers and unification, and together, nothing can stop them. In 2001, the Planet of the Drums will organize a much bigger tour, and from there, who knows where things will go.
On his own, AK1200 has a new mix cd forthcoming featuring the legendary MC Navigator, recorded live from a rave in San Francisco. He also has plans for an original album, which is being kept classified for many reasons. For a decade, AK1200 has steadily become a household name within the underground music scene, and for the next decade, he will continue to dominate America alongside his new family, the Planet of the Drums, and the result will be legendaryBest Ak1200 Songs of All Time