So the first track from your new album is christened “a future anthem” by Pete Tong on his radio show, hits the Number 1 spot on the DMC Buzz Chart and is Tune of the Month in Mixmag. Time to take the rest of the year off I guess?
Not for Kraak & Smaak – they have been busily sourcing like-minded souls to remix their summer hit while making sure the album that follows is an all killer, straight thriller affair. First up from Solomun’s DIYnamic crew is Adriatique. Both the Adrians that comprise the duo were big fans of the original featuring it on the DIYnamic podcast and got in touch with the Kraakers to say they would be up for remixing the song. The result is deep bassy house heaven and certain to be a summer terrace stalwart.
Next in the frame is the Kraakers countrymen Detroit Swindle whose deep dutch take on the original is also a summertime swooner. Househeads Prok & Fitch deliver the final mix stripping out all the pianos and going straight for the jugular in a bass riding tech house builder.
The remixes will be released in June to keep the vibe building for K&S with their album due at the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, The Kraakers have kindly found time to chat to us about themselves
What's the story behind the name 'Kraak & Smaak'?
The unforeseen and unfortunate consequence of having no band name when you send in your first recordings to a label: we used Wim’s company name as a header on the note that accompanied the demo cd and when Jalapeno Records in the UK were up for releasing it they suggested it. Of course, silly us, we didn’t realize that in English the name echoed something completely different than in Dutch (Crunchy & Tasty). Oh well...
How would you describe Kraak & Smaak's sound?
Eclectic, electronic, funky; music that works both on dancefloors and in living rooms. A hopefully smart feel for originality, musical experiment and pop appeal at the same time. And sometimes quirky in the best continental European sense.
What's been the best show you've played recently and why?
We regularly DJ at Club Moondoo in Hamburg, Germany, and it’s always good fun there. Located at the Reeperbahn, it makes for a very cool atmosphere. We’re also looking mega forward to our first time Ibiza, this Summer. We’ll play there twice, at the famous Space club.
What would you say are your influences?
Djeez... so many really; our ears are all over the place: in dance music, alternative, indie, pop... We just try and suck in all that we like. That could be the hottest trend on the current dancefloors, like deep house, but also movie soundtracks from the 70s, disco and new wave from the 80s. It’s not an explicit choice but one way or the other we always try and fuse old and new stuff to something different. For example, Yes King made this great dub reggae version of our next single, which was so awesome we decided to experiment with that sound in our next remix for German producer and DJ Moullinex, and colleague Oscar decided to buy all the Toots & Maytals records he didn’t own already.
What's the music scene in Holland like, and would you say you're influenced by any subcultures?
The scene over here is definitely vibrant but apart from dance music, which has quite some international acclaim of course, it’s mostly locally orientated – with some odd exceptions. Although we started out as a more or less funk & breakbeat outfit, and putting our record collections to work for sampling, along the way we took a more electronic approach as well. We hope at least that we are difficult to pinpoint exactly where we’re supposed to be musically. And it’s a challenge to stay away from specific genres, it just feels to easy.
Who is your biggest style Icon - and why?
We don’t really have style icons but if we would name a couple of people we admire, think Serge Gainsbourg, Georgio Moroder, James Brown, Carl Craig.
What album do you find yourself listening to the most - and why?
No real all-time favourite here but if we look at the record player now, the current listening stack includes albums by Herbie Hancock, Dean Blunt, Moodymann, Bonobo, Desmond Dekker, Chromatics and Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra.
If you could have any artist, dead of alive, cover you, who would it be?
From the top of our heads: we would love to hear Frank SInatra’s crooning rendition of Squeeze Me or The Jam’s take on The Future Is Yours ha ha!
Fred Perry Subculture are offering a free download by Kraak & Smaak, available below