Surviving the Jungle

Electronic music never erupted the way the faithful hoped it would, but jungle, and DJs like AK1200, still thrive in the underground

Diversity is AK's calling card. His discography, which consists mostly of mix CDs, reflects a deep inclusiveness rare among jungle selectors. While many DJs brand themselves with a particular subgenre say, new school tech-step AK1200 tends to pull from here, there and everywhere. The distinctions might be impossible to hear for the jungle novice, but his liberal taste is what makes programs like Prepare for Assault and Mixed Live (both Moonshine) more enduring than the 4,000 or so other jungle mixes released each year.

Despite listening to this specialized and quite esoteric music since its conception, AK1200 says its energy and ingenuity still blow him away. He's especially excited by the latest micro-movement within jungle "there's a whole new school of jump-up starting to happen, and that's going to be the next thing, I think," he enthuses. "The bass lines are really techy, but they're melodic and they move around a lot. They go across the scale, instead of being real distorted and scary. I'm sure you'll be hearing it soon."

The irony of jungle, and electronic music in general, in 2003 is that although the mass market never really sat up and took notice, the authorities and lawmakers finally have. Congress is clogged with no less than three anti-rave bills, which call out electronic music by name. But despite the pressure, AK1200 reports that the parties are actually getting better "as more people become interested in the music, and less so in the drugs. Things had to evolve anyway the promoters are getting smarter, and you know what? The music's getting better.

Mark Poutenis

Details

Scheduled to perform on Friday, March 28. Tickets are $8 in advance of the show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 602-720-5463 for more information.
Club Freedom, 919 East Apache in Tempe

"As long as I can say that, I'm a happy man."

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