Heineken, Van Gogh, Kraak & Smaak. The three most famous things to come out of Holland. Ever. In that order. Ok so maybe a bit of an exaggeration but the last couple of years have been an incredible ride for the Dutch producer trio, and as djs and band.
After dropping a number of now heavily sought after 12”s from 2003 onwards, in 2006 they released their debut album Boogie Angst, which led to worldwide support from the funk and electronic community. Radio tastemakers like Annie Nightingale and Pete Tong in the UK and Jason Bentley in LA followed suit, which meant that there was a global demand for their sound and so their UK label Jalapeno quickly did deals with in the US, Benelux and Japan to make sure they worked with the best independent networks in the world.
In 2008 they released their second album Plastic People, which gave them the worldwide hit Squeeze Me, featuring one of their favourite UK vocalists, Ben Westbeech. Picked up by the international breakdance community, it sold 70,000+ downloads in the USA and earned them a live appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, one of the most popular entertainment shows in the USA. Moreover, it was accompanied by the now famous flipbook video that was given mad props by Perez Hilton and Kanye West a.o.:
Perez Hilton on his site: “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”.
This music video with its flipbook theme, directed by Dutchman Andre Maat, has won numerous international awards and many self-made videos for the track can be found on YouTube. Squeeze Me has since been also released in Italy (Time records, 2009) and Germany (Kontor records, 2010).
In 2009 the EU sponsored European Border Breakers Award (EBBA) was won, alongside acts such as The Ting Tings and Adele (both from the UK), and presented to them at the Eurosonic festival in Groningen, during a television show hosted by Jools Holland.
Kraak & Smaak have also been aided by a string of well-received dancefloor remixes for the likes of MAxwell, Jamiroquai, Fedde Le Grand, Don Diablo, Mark Rae, Richard Dorfmeister, Fort Knox Five, Soul of Man, Junkie Xl, Sam Sparro, All Good Funk Alliance, etc., and over the years have produced guest mixes for BBC’s Annie Nightingale, Annie Mac, BBC 6, Hedkandi UK and public radio stations in Holland, Germany, Norway, Greece a.o.
Since releasing their debut album Boogie Angst they have played hundreds of shows in Europe, the US and Australia; rocking the international dancefloors with their energetic dj and live sets that makes them just as happy performing in the tiny basement of a deep funk night as it does dropping huge riffs to festival crowds. Hailed by I-DJ as a “Must see live band”, they’ve supported the stadium-rocking Faithless on their European tour and played some of the most prestigious dj and live gigs in the USA including Movement Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Coachella, SXSW, Wakarusa, Miami Winter Music Conference as well as playing headline sell-out gigs on the West and East Coast on their last tour. In Australia they toured twice, including playing at the Good Vibrations festival; in the UK the boys have rocked shows for club nights like AIR, Fingerlickin’ and Chew The Fat, Breakspoll and the Glastonbury, Bloom, Lovebox and Big Chill festivals. Other European shows up until now have included Pinkpop, Dance Valley, Sziget, Lowlands and 10 days Off.
Currently they guys are working on fresh new singles; the new album is planned for release in late 2010.