When Orlando native AK 1200 started his career in electronic music in the late '80s, almost no one in the country had ever heard of it. Nevertheless, the artist managed to carve out an extremely successful career in the realm of underground electronic music while simultaneously introducing countless people to the up-and-coming genre. At this point, he boasts one of the most illustrious careers of anyone in the business. He is not only a DJ, but also a producer, promoter, remixer, magazine publisher, and record store owner, not to mention a pioneer of breakbeat, jungle, and drum'n'bass.
The artist, whose real name is Dave Minner, first started playing generic early techno music in Orlando clubs in 1989. He has always had fairly progressive, edgy, and specific musical tastes, however, and club techno was not a very good match for him. The emerging U.K. breakbeat sound, on the other hand, suited him very well. AK quickly found his niche in hardcore breaks and left the mainstream techno scene behind forever. He was instrumental in helping keep breakbeat alive in the U.S. underground scene after it had lost popularity in the U.K. As the early '90s saw the birth of jungle and, later on, drum'n'bass in the U.S. underground, AK found his place as a tireless pioneer of the new sound. He toured extensively, scored a residency at San Francisco's legendary club Spundae, and published the magazine Junglized with musical colleague DJ Jeffee. His pattern was fairly predictable: He would champion a new subgenre only until everyone else had heard about it and jumped onto the bandwagon. When that happened, he'd veer off into another new niche of electronica that no one had yet heard of. Finally, in the mid-'90s, he decided to focus on producing and remixing, jumping into a prolific career that included collaborations with the likes of Keoki and Rabbit in the Moon. In 1999, he came full-circle, headlining the national Planet of the Drums tour. For this tour, he was the organizer and founder, as well as the star.
AK's discography and resumé read like a laundry list of who's who in underground electronica. He has remixed tracks for A Tribe Called Quest and the Crystal Method and collaborated with Dieselboy and Danny Breaks. His lengthy discography includes releases on Moving Shadow and Moonshine. Full-length releases include Prepare for Assault and Lock & Roll: A Drum & Bass DJ Mix. He also followed in Carl Cox's footsteps, releasing the second Mixed Live album on Moonshine Records in 2000. ~ L. Katz