Review: Kraak & Smaak, despite what you'd think going by their name; are in fact a trio and hail from the town of Leiden, Netherlands: consisting of Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug. They've been at it since 2003 and their careers have gone from strength to strength; the bulk of their material devoted to this very imprint: Jalapeno out of Brighton UK that is also home to The Allergies, Skeewiff and Ian Britt. New single "Stumble" is a gorgeous serving of indie-dance-electronica featuring some bittersweet vocals atop and elevating chord progressions: an all round deep groove. Hit prediction right here!
Review: Dutch boogie house champs Kraak & Smaak knocked it outta the park last year with their Juicy fruit long player. Now they're putting out remixes of these two album cuts. "Stumble" is a sadness-tinged piano lament with soft, happy-sad summer day vibes. The Fhin Flip version retains Parcel's soulful vocals but adds slow, tough beats and low end rumbles. Elsewhere Richard Dorfmeister appears and delivers a spectacular "Cinematic Way" version and Blue Motel turn in a dreamy stonewashed synth rework. "So Clear" meanwhile is hazy deep house (Imagine a stoned Gypsy Woman) that gets remixed in an off-kilter funk direction by Memem.
Review: Kraak & Smaak singles are rarely anything less than party-starting treats, and this latest outing is no different. It helps, of course, that Eli Escobar - a producer known for delivering colourful, disco-and-boogie flavoured house hits - is on remix duty. His version of "U R Freak" is arguably a little dreamier and more musically intricate than his singles on Classic, but still packs a punch thanks to bustling organ stabs, bongo-laden beats and some on-point synth bass. The rest of the EP is taken up by Mood's modern boogie-meets-deep house remixes of "Prescription". Eric Biddiness makes his presence felt on the vocal version, rapping and singing over a squidgy, synth-laden backing track that perfectly tiptoes the fine line between club-ready fare and radio-friendly cheeriness.
Review: The bubbly JalapeNo imprint has been the main home to Kraak & Smaak's house-minded output over the years - although a few outings on the Spinnin' labels certainly help to cement their status as veritable nu-disco specialists - and this extensive new album Juicy Fruit feels like a natural place for them to be right now. We're talking about thirteen classy disco-leaning house gems here, all of them perfectly suitable for dancefloor domination and Saturday evening seduction. This is for the dancers, the swingers and party starters; it feels like the sort of ticket you don't get too often, an energetic and fun collection of great dance SONGS. Indulge.
Review: Razor 'N' Tape has been slowly expanding its' outlook in recent years, focusing on original productions just as much as re-edits. Here, they've pulled off something of a coup by snapping up two fresh cuts from Dutch heavyweights Kraak & Smaak. There's the clipped Chic guitars, jaunty analogue bass, undulating Syclops lead lines and gravelly soul vocals of "Way Back Home", and the filter-heavy disco-house throb of "Seb's Party". The package also includes two tasty re-rubs apiece from Ben Sun and Tiger & Woods. Sun offers up a smooth, nu-disco/deep house fusion, followed by a chunkier, classic house sounding affair, while Tiger & Woods offer two superb variants on the same throbbing, electrofunk-meets-Balearic piano house template.
Review: Since debuting in the early 2000s, Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak have established themselves as one of Europe's premier purveyors of eclectic, funk-fuelled dancefloor positivity. It's little surprise then to find that their new album "Pleasure Centre" - their sixth studio set in total - is another joyous romp. This time round, they've drawn more influence from West Coast style blue-eyed soul and yacht rock while continuing to offer nods towards boogie, P-funk, synth-pop, '80s soul, jazz-funk and Rotary Connection (see the superb "Twilght", with vocals by rising star FitzRoy). It's a wonderfully warm and attractive blend, with the result being a superb collection of dancefloor cuts and heady downtempo numbers that all adds up to their best album to date.
Review: Kraak & Smaak's recent album, Juicy Fruit, was packed with warm, loose and attractive blends of boogie, jazz-funk and soul-soaked disco. "Alone With You", a heartfelt stroll through soft-focus boogie pastures in the company of expressive vocalist Cleopold, was undoubtedly one of the highlights. Here it gets a deserved single release, accompanied by three new reworks. Purple Disco Machine steals the show with a version that deftly melds the Dutch outfit's original disco instrumentation to a tasty house groove and atmospheric nu-disco synths. Elsewhere, Knight One's rework is breezy and organic, whilst Loframes delivers a bouncy, radio-friendly house interpretation shot through with bold electronic motifs.