Kraak and Smaak
Kraak and Smaak
Dutch purveyors of crispy funk and futuristic jazzy beats.
Kraak & Smaak? Is this some new high-class drugs combo I’ve never heard of before?
While we’re sure they get the double meaning it actually translates as ‘Crunch & Taste’ in their native Dutch and, rather confusingly, they’re a trio consisting of Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug.
Fair enough. So what’s their pedigree?
They released their first 12ins back in 2003, signing to Jalapeno Records and soon picking up fans of their electro grooves and deep funk – Annie Nightingale, Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Rob da Bank among others – while landing remix work for the likes of Jamiroquai, Mark Rae, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Sam Sparro and Soul of Man.
Sounds good, what about their own output?
Well there have been two albums: Boogie Angst (2005) and Plastic People (2008). ‘The new album is a bit more grown-up than the first album,’ explains Plug. ‘We’ve kept the trademark K&S sound of funk and Fender Rhodes on some of the tracks,’ adds de Jong, ‘but tracks like “Plastic People” have a tougher edge. It’s a natural result of playing to bigger festival crowds and seeing bands like [former touring partners] Faithless tear crowds apart with big dark riffs.’ And it’s well worth checking out their biggest hit ‘Squeeze Me’ featuring vocalist Ben Westbeech.
I’m sold, where can I catch them?
They play a DJ set at the rather excellent jazz, funk and world musical melting pot that is Departure Lounge at one of Edinburgh’s most salubrious venues, The Caves. And that’s not all, as there will also be a live set from funky hip hoppers The Freaky Family featuring the Freaky Horns alongside residents Astroboy, Mr Zimbabwe and Jimenez.
Departure Lounge at The Caves, Edinburgh, Fri 2 Oct.