After recording four drum & bass mix discs for Moonshine (no biggie), fourteen-year DJ veteran AK1200 (né Dave Minner) decided it was time to give a little something back to the genre he and fellow Planet of the Drums DJs Dieselboy, Dara and now Messinian worked so hard to establish in America. So AK1200, like everyone else last year, debuted his first artist disc, Shoot to Kill, on Run Recordings. Featuring vocals from Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest) and Junior Reid (Black Uhuru), to name just a couple of the stars, Shoot to Kill is a sonic step away from his DJ sets, but its sheer tonal variety -- from a reggae vibe to catchy, almost radio-ready sounds to a hip-hop groove -- makes it succeed in its own right. But don't worry -- straight-ahead drum & bass is always present. Not only are the tracks individually engaging, the album as a whole is remarkably coherent, with Brit Rob Playford (owner of the Moving Shadow label and Goldie's engineer), who co-produced most of the tracks, imparting a compositional quality to the collection of beats.
AK1200 has already toured to support that September 2002 release and is bringing his jungle way of life back to the Gateway City. This show promises to please not only hardcore D&B heads but also newcomers to the breaks -- he'll give you enough of a taste to make drum & bass digestible and dig-able. Make the trek to Lo to see (and hear) the accomplished one up close and in action. Maybe even buy him a beer; we hear he likes Heineken. And for those of you who like his mixes, check the record stores on June 10, when another is set to drop.