Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kraak & Smaak

Ah the Netherlands, home of the Dutch Masters, pastoral windmills, and legal recreational drugs. You don't hear much about Dutch music these days (or ever), but don't let that prejudice your assessment of the group Kraak & Smaak.

Taken from their website :

"Although Kraak & Smaak originally started out as a studio project for the founder members Oscar De Jong, Mark Kneppers & Wim Plug it quickly became one of the hottest live and DJ properties in dance music. The live band has the addition of Ro Krom – drummer & vocalist, Rose – vocalist and Marc on the bass guitar. Coupled with the keyboards, FX and percussion played by the band themselves it’s a formidable slice of funk on the floor with the epic moments provided by K&S’s more leftfield output. For DJ sets band member DJ Sargon, Mark and Wim are the main spinners capable of laying down an eclectic sound that makes them as happy spinning in the tiny basement of a deep funk night as it does dropping huge riffs to festival crowds."

Kraak & Smaak released their sophomore album Plastic People in April of this year, but it's only available in the States as an import (it's pricey). Representative of K&S's unique style, the album ranges from subdued Euro-lounge, to all out electro-funk. The whole thing has kind of an early 90's feel to it--it's mix of soulful vocals and hard-hitting electro beats accounting for much of that characterization. I've given the album a once over and these are my two early picks:

Kraak & Smaak- Bobby & Whitney

Kraak & Smaak feat. Ben Westbeech- Squeeze Me

You might also want to check out the video for "Squeeze Me." Cool concept, but, alas, it gets a bit boring. Also thought it suffered a bit in the execution department; I couldn't help becoming annoyed at how the guy's hands get stuck up at times when he's flipping through..."God damn it let me do it!"

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