This stunning debut album from the Dutch trio is bulging with funked up, retro-style...
Jack Smith 2005-06-17
Kraak & Smaak take their name from an old Dutch proverb meaning 'neither here nor there'. We are reliably informed it has nowt to do with Class A's.
That may well be the case as the Dutch dance trio's Boogie Angst is more lounge-core than hardcore, mixing funky riffs, acid jazz melodies and instantly catchy songs that Jamiroquai would be proud to call their own.
No more so then on the stomping "One Of These Days" with U-Gene doing his best Donny Hathaway impersonation. '80s reference points are also in abundance on their current single, "Money In The Bag", taking a line from an obscure Indeep release and mixing it up to sound like a modern day slab of P Funk laid siege at the hands of the Talking Heads.
The other main vocal contribution comes from Dez on the chunky Brass Construction-parody "Keep Me Home", and with enhanced percussion, guitar licks and filtered breaks the chemistry is a kinetic one.
DJ Wim, radio personality Mark Kneppers and Fender Rhodes extraordinaire Oscar de Jong are the Dutch threesome with a healthy penchant for all thinks retro: from '70s rare grooves ("Keep On Searching") to '50s Blue Note jazz leanings ("5 To 4").
Their earlier single, "Say Yeah", pays blissful homage to the likes of Fatback, BT Express and Sly Stone thanks to Kneppers' keyboard majesty and James Brown style chants.
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!