Rep Your… Label: Kartoons
This time we’ve got a member of the Drum&BassArena forum community repping a particular label with some thoughtful reflections… And a killer 45minute set for you to check and download!
Get yourself acquainted with Nicky Blackmarket’s Kartoons… And the man repping them: DJ Jamie
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into this malarkey in the first place?
“It all started for me in 1993 with a double deck tape player and copies of the top 40 recorded from Radio 1. Connecting pop hits into one another with the aid of high speed dubbing and a swift pause finger was my first introduction into the world of mixing. It quickly progressed to vinyl in the form of my parent’s hi-fi system and borrowed copies of classic breakbeat hardcore records, again with the aid of blank tapes, rewinding the records, hitting pause and so on and so on.
“Sometime in 1994 I was introduced to second hand audio shops, which is where I found my first pair of Technics. Not 1200s or 1210s but two very different record decks with wheel style pitch control which looked like they were made in the second World War! Switching from breakbeat hardcore (some may know this style as old school) into jungle, following the crossover to happy hardcore for a good number of years, then back over to Drum and Bass around 1996 was pretty much the path I followed.
“I was known around Cambridgeshire for many years as the DJ that played ‘the stuff Mickey Finn used to play’ also now known as jump up drum & bass. This isn’t a bad thing, looking back to the golden era of jump up you could see then that the divide between styles that Finn and Darren Jay favoured to those that Rider and Doc Scott played was pretty wide. I remained loyal to the upbeat styles of drum and bass, perhaps it was due to my previous addiction to Happy Hardcore or just that this kind of flavour was, to me, more about the vibes, anthems, reloads and air horns.
“It pretty much sums up what I am all about as a DJ. I don’t stand behind the decks in the shadows, for me it’s about creating a vibe, creating the atmosphere of 1996 and most importantly keeping the dance moving. So that’s my DJ life over the last 15 years in a few paragraphs, now where’s the lighters, whistles and horns?”
Jamie and his school mates established Section 23 back in 1993. It’s still going strong today. Recognise: http://www.section23.co.uk/
Now tell us about Kartoons
“Owned by the world renowned Nicky Blackmarket, Kartoons was a direct offshoot from the home of Blackmarket Records. Founded in 1997 with a total of 34 releases, the label featured the likes of Ray Keith, TNT (Target & Trend) alongside some lesser known artists such as Jonnie Braze, Live Crew and Fade. The main drawback of the label, and possibly why it wasn’t recognised by some as credible, is probably because it was trying to be a bit of everything. Hopefully the mix will prove this, its a mixture of jungle, bordering early liquid, some tech step, jump up and a bit of hard step – so many sub genres I could probably write a book just on that!”
Give us two key Kartoons releases…
TNT – 2 Degrees
“2 Degrees was, without a doubt, the biggest selling release on Kartoons which must have featured in every Drum & Bass DJ’s set during 1997. Love it or hate it, this record paved the way for jump up in the late 90s. The sample “better get the old man down here”, taken from the 1983 film Wargames played a memorable part in the track, as does the string intro and what I assume was some kind of elephant sample. It would be wrong of me not to include this track in this interview, RIP DJ Trend – a true inspiration to the scene.”
Outlaw – Music For The People
“I loved Outlaw’s take on the jump up vibe, this was probably only ever heard by a select number of avid followers of the label. Since 1998 I have never heard this on a tape pack, at a rave or even at a house party! This tune is another perfect example of why Kartoons was so diverse – most of the producers assigned to the label would always present a different form of what was jump up then, it was never a one trick pony.”
Should new producers be checking Kartoons to remember where D&B’s roots?
“I think the majority of the releases on Kartoons would baffle many producers that are relatively new to the industry, it’s not such an obvious statement as say, Urban Takeover was back then. Jump up in 2012 is so different to 1997; progression has taken it to many places along the way. I really have no idea what the next five years hold, so to listen to the back catalogue from Kartoons may inspire new producers.
“I personally would like to see a return of hard step, to me this was a quirky take on Jump Up mixed with the edge of Jungle – ideally suited to the corner huggers as much as the dance floor creepers. Because of the switch on nearly every release it’s a fantastic collection to have and I hope the mix demonstrates its diversity as a label.”
Just before we get to the mix, tell us anything about yourself that you think we should know about you!
“I am instantly drawn to share with the world that I love being a Dad. I have a 6 year old son called Thomas who means the world to me, he’s almost like a clone of how I was at 6 – he even knows how to operate not only a vinyl deck but a tape deck also!”
Big ups Thomas! Thank you for the mix….
1) Fade – TDK – Kartoons Volume 15 – 1998
2) Unknown Artist – Side A – Kartoons Volume 01 – 1997
3) Dragon Fist (Ray Keith) – Double Bass Funk – Kartoons Volume 08 – 1998
4) Jonnie Braze – 1-2 – Kartoons Volume 14 – 1998
5) The Outlaw – VR-6 – Kartoons Volume – 1998
6) Dragon First (Ray Keith) – Assault – Kartoons Volume – 1998
7) Dragon First (Ray Keith) – Follow The Leader – Kartoons Volume 10 – 1998
8) Live Crew – Told – Kartoons Volume 03 – 1997
9) TNT – 2 Degrees – Kartoons Volume 02 – 1997
10) Trigger Happy – What Goes Around – Kartoons Volume 21 – 1998
11) Trend (RIP) – ! – Kartoons Volume 02 – 1997
12) Jonnie Braze – How U Want It – Kartoons Volume 14 – 1998
13) Dragon First (Ray Keith) – Filter – Kartoons Volume 20 – 1998
Find Jamie at…
Readers! Do YOU want to rep your roots?
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