Kartoons, owned by the world renowned Nicky Blackmarket 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.
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 90’s. 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.
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.
In my opinion Blackmarket should have stuck to what he did best, he obviously had the contacts and in terms of knowing his selection, he was then, a good Jump Up DJ. Looking back now at Kartoons its a real surprise to find maybe 4 or 5 well known Jump Up tunes on this label - I only featured 2 in this mix, the rest will be on the next instalment. Would this label have worked as perhaps a alternative to Urban Takeover or Proper Talent? In my opinion, yes it would have - a bit more input from the likes of Trend and less from Ray Keith and this would have probably made Nicky Blackmarket a bit more spare change to buy pocket torches with.
Hey, at least he’s still smiling so he’s doing something right.
Final word in this write up must be to pay respect to Trend - RIP.