Dave Minner got his stage name a decade ago, back when he was spinning records at The Hottie Shop, the electronic-music record store he opened in his hometown of Orlando. And, once you understand what it means (think AK-47, the assault weapon Jackie Brown's Ordell Robbie is talking about when he says, "When you absolutely, positively got to kill every last motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes"), it's the most appropriate moniker he could have chosen. Except he didn't. His pal DJ Icey gets the credit, after watching Minner push the BPMs on the records he was playing higher than a fat man's blood pressure: "You're playing so fast, you're like an AK on the 1200s."
Ten years later, Minner hasn't slowed down much, behind the decks or behind the scenes: As AK1200, he's stuck by breakbeat music, always a step ahead as it evolved into jungle and drum 'n' bass. Along with DJ Jeffee, he started a must-have magazine, Junglized, spreading the word to all the places the music didn't quite reach. Minner did it in person as well, playing anywhere that would have him, releasing four mix discs for Moonshine and remixing the likes of Rabbit in the Moon, A Tribe Called Quest, Dub Pistols, The Crystal Method and others in his downtime. (As if there were any.) And for the past few years, along with Dieselboy and Dara, AK1200 has been one-third of Planet of the Drums, the most exciting (and successful) electronic-music partnership this side of Roni Size & Reprazent and Goldie's Metalheadz crew. Thanks to the POTD team, U.S. drum 'n' bass is finally getting respect from its peers in the U.K. and, more important, the kids on the dance floor.
Now, Minner has taken his skills into the studio: SHOOTTOKILL, his first full-length album, hits stores September 24. Two years under construction, SHOOTTOKILL is the rare drum 'n' bass disc with staying power; anyone can drop a 12-inch single, but AK1200 can go 12 songs and (literally) never miss a beat. Even when Phife Dawg is delivering his most inspired performance (on "Take You There") since Tribe broke up, Minner's Max Roach-on-meth music grabs more of your attention. Minner almost meets his match in Last Emperor (like a champion Thoroughbred, Emp only gets more comfortable as the pace quickens on "Contact"), but AK's brisk bounce still beats him to the tape. SHOOTTOKILL is a special disc, a dance record that makes you wanna stop moving and listen. Accept no substitute.
September 21 at the Zen Music Festival, which happens at the Beaumont Ranch in Grandview. Head to www.texaszenfest.com for directions and ticket information.
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