Kraak & Smaak show us the headlines from their setlist
Originally from Leiden in the Netherlands, producer/musician trio, Kraak & Smaak, aka Oscar De Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug, first came together in 2003 with a vision to produce a new, bold and energetic sound by taking elements from genres such as funk, disco and house. And that’s exactly what they did.
Achieving success in the UK, USA, Japan and their native Holland with their first full length album, Boogie Anguish, the trio soon began receiving invitations to perform at major outdoor events across Europe. On a whim and in an effort to help further promote De Jong’s record, Kneppers and Plug decided to choose instruments and recreate the album’s content live. Audiences are said to have been so impressed with the band’s huge club sound, which consisted of various other live musicians and vocalists, that the band decided to continue on the performance and recording path, in part , with a live outfit.
(Kraak & Smaak, left to right – Mark Knepper, Oscar De Jong and Wim Plug)
More international success followed, with radio support Kraak & Smaak landing and eventually a handful of tours across Australia and the US, stopping to play big-name festivals like Coachella and SXSW from Austin. But it was not until the release of their second album, that of 2008 plastic people, that things really started to get supersonic for the band.
Appearances on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show, a performance at Glastonbury Festival, more touring around the world and winning various awards including the European Border Breakers Award – Kraak & Smaak had broken through to mainstream audiences.
Since then, the group has continued to create, produce and release a body of accomplished and critically acclaimed work, such as 2016. juicy fruit and 2019 pleasure center. A globally recognized crossover band, they are still going strong, bringing their own unique sound and punk-tinged performances to new fans and faces around the world.
We caught up with the trio last month to talk about the band’s new music and future sound, Kraak and Smaak’s 2021 highlights, and the artists they’re supporting to do big things in 2022.
Continue down the page to read the full interview below, and listen to the tracks you can expect to hear live at a Kraak & Smaak concert this year, in their exclusive Beats Per Minute playlist.
We recently captured your excellent live performance at last year’s ADE event in Amsterdam. There was a lot of energy in this room. How did this compare to the other dates of your last “Europe Fall Tour”? Was there a significant date and if so why?
“Thank you, good to hear! ADE is indeed always an amazing event to perform at and as it was our first time in the main venue at Melkweg, that made it even more special. The crowd was also very receptive, great energized and excited. , probably because of the continuous ‘Corona cloud’ hanging over our heads and all the ordeal we’ve been through, you know? We were just really happy that everything fell into place that night- the.
“It was also amazing to come out to do a European tour again. It was really great to see all our international fans again and party.”
You spoiled us with some brand-new music in November, dropping your latest single, “Persuade You.” It’s a real pearler, a nostalgic shot of arm-soothing soul music and we’re here for that at Skiddle! Can we expect more new music imminently? Is there an album in preparation?
“Yes, that one turned out as we hoped. We recently immersed ourselves in 60s American soul music, to explore a new vibe for the direction of the next album. I guess you might consider ‘Persuade You’ like the first attempt at experimenting with sound, trying out new instruments (live strings for example) and arrangements.
“We are currently working on more singles, aiming for two or three releases in the near future, while in the meantime creating a framework for a full album again. But the release of the latter could still take some time. For now, we hope we can keep everyone happy with singles and remixes – we also have new original vocal features!”
What were your highlights of 2021? Are there any highlights or stories from your adventures that you can share with us?
“Along with all the lows, fortunately there have also been a number of highs. For example, we did our first real online show in March this year @Sessions, for which we pulled out all the stops with the lighting, multiple cameras and a director. Previously we were all a bit undecided about the project because you really miss the energy of a live audience, but it turned out fantastic. The first summer festivals we have held in about a year, at Jazzpiknik and Carbon in Hungary and Poland respectively are both also worth checking out. But the most notable gig was at the Tropico Festival in Acapulco, Mexico. Again, please please!”
Looking forward to hopefully even more normality in 2022, do you already have any dates planned for the new year? Can we expect to see you on the UK festival slots in the summer?
“As well as having picked new dates for several concerts that were due to be postponed, we already have a number of European club and festival shows planned, including ADE, and we hope we can make it to the United States. and in Canada on Summer.Our first live tour of November had to be canceled due to major capacity issues at the local consulate for issuing visas, but it looks like things are finally looking up now.
Listen to Kraak and Smaak’s latest single, “Persuade You”, below…
We like to ask our Beats Per Minute attendees who they’re currently listening to, to find out if there’s anyone who should be on our radar. And as you go, you’re quite prolific when it comes to finding emerging talent, having featured the likes of IVAR, Meeka Kates and Australian songwriter Cleopold. So, is there anyone you think we should take note of?
“We always love trying to find new singers who might fit our music, and we will continue to do so. It never ceases to amaze us how many original singers and great songwriters are yet to be discovered. A few names, producers also, of which we think you should definitely keep your ears open are, for example, Jitwam, Georges, Ted Jasper, Brijean and Common Saints.
Finally, to conclude this very short and concise interview, we want to know what your objectives are for the coming year. What are your hopes for Kraak and Smaak and where/what would you ultimately like to see yourself doing around this time next year?
“Although it hasn’t been the best time for musicians, producers and DJs, we have survived so far and hopefully we can continue doing what we do best.
“There’s a lot to look forward to: new singles, remixes, a new album, maybe a DJ mix compilation… and of course being able to play even more around the world as a DJ and with our live band. It’s been too long for all of us and we can’t wait to get back more regularly. Ultimately, music is a social experience and we need each other to make it work!”
To verify Skiddle Spotify Profile for even more playlist selections from some of the biggest names in dance music, including Solardo, Mark Knight, Pan, and more…
Discover our Events Guide for even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head over to our Things to do or get inspired by the event selections on our inspire me page.