From the halcyon days of Florida's fin-de-siècle rave scene to the menthol-slathered, glitter-trailing set, AK1200 was the king of drum 'n' bass. A decade earlier, the Orlando native had earned his chops in tiny clubs in that city, his techno sets often greeted with confusion or indifference. But as the Nineties dawned, the emerging breakbeat and hardcore sounds filtered over from the UK and struck the DJ. What turned into jungle then morphed into drum 'n' bass, and through it all, AK1200 (née Dave Minner) championed the sound across the nation. He has released five mix CDs since 1999 (three for the famed Moonshine label); produced remixes for A Tribe Called Quest and Rabbit in the Moon, among others; and published Junglized magazine with Orlando coconspirator DJ Jeffee. Then, as now, AK1200's DJ sets featured rolling, melodic bass; traversed ragga hybrids; and touched down on tech-step the perfect blend to keep everyone in a big room bouncing and blowing whistles. The American drum 'n' bass scene might have gone dormant sometime this decade, but small clues show it might again be rising to the surface. Jeffee still soldiers on in Central Florida with his blues-inflected brand of jump-up jungle. Now AK1200 returns to South Florida with a free performance at Laundry Bar. The venue might seem uncharacteristically small, but the hardcore local massive will still pack it all the better to feel the bass, of course. Arielle Castillo
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