Kraak & Smaak to Release Acclaimed Full Length ‘Plastic People’ Stateside via Ultra Records on Sept. 9th.
“We’ve got a new anthem, y’all! Say hello to Kraak & Smaak, one of the hottest groups around! Hailing from the Netherlands, their music could best be described as Amy Winehouse meets Moby. Their sound is an exploration in soul, funk, dance, electro and breakbeat. Kraak & Smaak are f*cking amazing! Justice are SO last year. It’s all about Kraak & Smaak!”- PerezHilton.com
“I’d give it a 6 if I could!” ***** – IDJ
“it’s a stunning collection…resistance is futile” Album of the Month – M8
‘Plastic People’ is the second studio album from Holland’s breakthrough band Kraak & Smaak. Since releasing their debut album ‘Boogie Angst’, they have played over 200 live band gigs, have been hailed as a“Must see live band”, supported the stadium-rocking Faithless on their European tour, and played some of the most prestigious gigs in the USA during 2007, including Coachella Festival, SXSW Festival and shows at the Winter Music Conference.
Although Kraak & Smaak originally started out as a studio project for the founding members Oscar DeJong, Mark Kneppers & Wim Plug, it quickly became one of the hottest live properties in electronic music.
In the UK, the boys have rocked shows for Club nights like AIR, Fingerlickin’ and Chew The Fat as well as festivals including Bestival & Glastonbury. Summer ‘08 sees the band on the road touring the hot ticket festivals, with a string of key European stops including Lovebox, Glastonbury, Bloom & Big Chill (UK), Loveland, Lowlands & Appelpop (Holland) Becksperience (Bucharest) and Szigest ( Budapest) to name a few. They aim to spend the summer dropping their electronic funk sound on the up-for-it crowds.
When it released, their debut ‘Boogie Angst’ stood out because it sounded like nothing else around. The K&S brand of future funk led to their singles being supported by the cream of Radio 1. With jocks Annie Nightingale, Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Rob Da Bankon board, and Zane Lowe adopted one of their tracks as a soundbed for his show.
On their second album there has been a progression that is a natural result of all their touring and is testament to their ambition. Debuting at iTunes Holland #1 in the Electronic Album Chart, with the single “Squeeze Me” placing in the iTunes Top 10 Electronic Singles the world over, it’s bound to attract the attention of quite a few here Stateside.
In addition to the banjo twang, disco suave synths, hints of a string orchestra, a gypsy-tinged clarinet melody, and the soulful broken beat that threads its way through the music on‘Plastic People’, there are stand out collabs to also be found here. There’s a collaboration with one of their heroes, rapper Dudley Perkins (a mainstay of the legendary Stones Throw label) who agreed straight away to do the vocals for “That’s My Word” once he heard the beat that the boys had cooked up for him to drop his lyrics on.
One of the performers that had most impressed the boys in the year since their debut released was Ben Westbeech. Ben is a rapidly rising soul star, signed to Gilles Peterson’s influential Brownswood label so the boys were delighted when Ben agreed to collaborate with them on “Squeeze Me”. “We flew him out to our sleepy hometown of Leiden and worked together for a couple of days and “Squeeze Me” is the result” says Mark. “He’s a great guy and came back to Amsterdam at Christmas to perform with us at our show at the Melkweg”
Underground hero, Dudley Perkins. Check. Hottest property in Dance Music, Ben Westbeech. Check. What or whom is next? Oh yes, let’s make sure we’ve got some world-class songs on the album. The band turned to old friend Mark Brydon from Moloko who co-wrote “Plastic People”, due to be released as the second single from the album. “We started working with Mark and everything really clicked. Through him we met the singer Bobby NiO who does an amazing job on this track. We had an instrumental version of this track which we had been using in DJ sets for a while – Sander Kleinenberg licensed it for his Renaissance album but it really came to life when we started working with Mark & Bobby” says Wim.
“We wanted to make sure that the album was not just about guest vocalists though. We have a tight live band who perform our songs all over the world and wanted to make sure that we worked with our own vocalists as well as guests” says Oscar. “We wrote “Ready for Life” with oursinger Rose and did a killer club track called “Funk Ass Rotator” with Ro who is the drummer and vocalist in the live band”.
Apart from these highlights there is an abundance of Kraak & Smaak soundscape moments that give the album it’s ebbs and flows and mean that their audience and fanbase is a lot more widespread than just club kids. ‘Cornered’ in particular picked up a lot of support for its Carl Craig style deepness and clarinet lead.
And the meaning behind the name Kraak & Smaak? “Well we got thrown out of a country once for not having the right visa – I don’t think the name helped us there – But in Dutch…it’s a little difficult to translate… but it means crunchy & tasty” explains Mark. “We love our name but we don’t mind if radio peoplehave to call us K&S or anything else so long as they play us.”
Kraak & Smaak’s second full-length album ‘Plastic People’ will be released in the US on September 9th via Ultra Records. North American tour dates to be announced soon.
‘Plastic People’ Tracklisting:
01 Bobby & Whitney
02 Squeeze Me
03 Plastic People
05 Man of Constant Sorrow
06 That’s My Word
08 California Roll
09 Thinking Back
10 Il Serpente
11 Ready for Life
12 Ain’t Gonna Take it No More
13 To Everyone Who Has