AK1200 – aka Dave Minner – has been DJing for well over a decade now, and has been a force to reckon with ever since he added production to his repertoire during the second half of the 1990s. One of US’s original breakbeat DJs back in the day, AK has seen most movements come and go throughout his long-running career, from hardcore, jungle and drum & bass to hard trance, electro, dancehall, and on and on. And to make up for lost time – this is his first full-length studio album! – he seems eager to show off his skills mastering any one style on here.
The opening track, “Junior’s Tune,” features Junior Reid and is a great dancehall/ragga track with a great breakbeat backing, and is immediately being followed by the db chill of “Carousel.” A weird decision, but this seems to be AK’s idea with this album, to showcase his broad musical scope. And so it goes. The aggressive, soulful first single “Fake” is offset by the smooth Ibiza track “Dawn Raid.” The Last Emperor-assisted sci-fi hip-hop of “Contact” runs contrary to the hard house that defines “Catch.”
It is to AK1200’s credit that half the time he makes this eclectic mix work, and that he even seems to define himself by it. But all the same, the album doesn’t necessarily benefit from his incessant eclecticism. The album becomes somewhat confused and unfocused, with any sense of coherency continually being disrupted by sudden shifts in styles and moods. Diversity is a good thing, but much of this seems to be done purely to impress rather than to serve some thorough artistic purpose. As a fully formed album, this leaves a bit to be desired and it certainly lacks the impressive, continuous flow of recent albums by similar artists like LTJ Bukem or Goldie. However, there are several fine tracks on here, and any fan of current db and the diverse breakbeat scene are well advised to check this out.
:run recordings: http://www.runrecordings.com