Kraak and Smaak are a trio of dutch producers who push a very funky and rich sound on their debut CD released in 2006. They apparently derive their name from a Dutch phrase, but of course one must wonder considering the English slang meanings of the words. I first learned of Kraak and Smaak when I saw their remix work getting great write ups in the DJ Mags and on MP3 sites. When I read the outstanding review of “Boogie Angst” in IDJ for this album, I kept it in the back of my mind that I should pick up this CD. It wasn't until a recent trip to NYC that I had the opportunity to grab it, and I'm glad that I did.
“Boogie Angst” is an excellent album and all the tracks, be they slow tempo or stand up and dance tracks are flush with their signature funky beats and rhythms. The whole album has a 70's and 80's updated vibe to it. “Money in the Bag” starts out much like old school rap from the early 80's, while “Keep on Searching” has a bass line and strings reminiscent of the a 70's blaxploitation soundtrack. Overall, this is an excellent album that showcases this trio's ability to put together a coherent album, and not just collect a some of their tracks.
The package includes a second disc of remixes, which makes this purchase an excellent value – it was priced only slightly higher than a standard single CD release.
Here are what other sites have to say about Kraak and Smaak “Boogie Angst”:
Boogie Angst is a great title for a disc, isn’t it? The lithe combination communicates the fun of funk and breaks with the knowledge of the genre’s emptiness. It’s also an appropriate description of the music of young Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak. The breaks-influenced group, made up of Mark Knepper, Oscar De Jong & Wim Plug, blend jazzy rhythms, breaks and a retro, diva vocal vibe into a pleasant, light mix—all headspinning surface, nothing beneath. Think of Skeewiff’s recent single “Love Power”, or some of Jamiroquai’s more upbeat funk anthems, and you’ll have the idea. It’s not very fashionable music, and a bit overt in the same way as the Frank Popp Ensemble, but undeniably enjoyable.
It's a heady soundclash of styles, beats, breaks and funky basslines. Yet those searching for something a little less esoteric will find sanctuary on the jazz-influenced "Danse Macabre" - a chilled mind-enveloping journey into never-never land with equally eerie vocal ad-libs.
In Boogie Angst Kraak & Smaak have concocted a refreshing and innovative record that melds elements of traditional funk with ambient-dub, samba rhythms and house grooves. The result is an edify 70's Blaxploitation vibe that sounds like a lost master from the Stax vaults. It really is that good!
Kraak & Smaak have done an incredible job of fusing electronic music with a billion different influences to create an album that can be listened to over and over again. Its so easy to get lost in the songs that you’ll surely finish the whole thing without even really realizing that a full hour has gone by. This shit is as infectious as Chlamydia in Las Vegas. I’d suggest popping this in for a long drive with an ex or a former friend, as it will annihilate any uncomfortable conversation that might arise with a less addictive disc in the stereo.