Rhythm Nation 

Drum 'n' Bass DJs Raise the Bar

Planet of the Drums

Fri Aug 1


Let's get some things straight. This world ain't about the "Planet of Sound," as Black Francis would have you believe, and it has nothing to do with Planet of the Apes either (there will be no Charlton Heston lurking around my pea patch clad only in leather bracelets and a dingy loincloth). This upcoming event is Planet of the Drums, the most successful and consistently running international drum 'n' bass tour.

Featuring Dieselboy (who initiated the Planet of the Drums tour in 2001), AK1200, Dara, and J-Messinian, the tour began as a vehicle to consolidate talent and generate a focused interest in the genre here in the States. Dieselboy (AKA Damian Higgins) came up as a DJ/producer in Pittsburgh in the mid-'90s, originally playing techno and breaks but eventually moving up to become "the most in-demand American drum 'n' bass DJ," selling more records than any other U.S. electronic artist in 2000.

AK1200 got his start in the Florida hardcore breakbeat scene in the late '80s, alongside future large-venue shakers like DJ Icey. He went on to do remixes by Rabbit in the Moon, the Crystal Method, and A Tribe Called Quest, and he's become a staple in the post-rave, all-ages circuit.

Dara, who originally hails from Ireland, got his start in the mid-'90s, DJing and hosting his own web-TV show, Velocity, where he interviewed jungle's leading artists, eventually working with them.

It was almost inevitable that these three--along with drum 'n' bass toaster J-Messinian--would formally collaborate to help give a much-needed boost to drum 'n' bass' impact on the electronica scene here and abroad. This crew has a harder-edged, new-school approach--as opposed to the more jazz-inflected arrangements of, say, LTJ Bukem and Grooverider's work in the early '90s.

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