Since the Dutch producers trio Kraak & Smaak released their first album ‘Boogie Angst’ in the UK, the Netherlands, the USA and Japan in 2005, the boys’ live band has grown into a steady and well-respected force in today’s international club and festival scene.
Initially the live band is put together solely as a one-off promotional tool for their first album. But with that premiering show in Amsterdam, with its energetic mix of funk, disco and house, plus a heavy dosis of rock ‘n roll attitude, it impressed people so much that they quickly decide to embark on a follow up by organizing a first club tour in the Netherlands.
Their set-up, combining the fat club sound of their releases with live musicians and male and female vocalists, turns out to be a totally unheard of musical phenomenon in the Dutch club and festival circuit at the time, leading to invitations to play at Holland’s biggest festival, Pinkpop, and support slots for UK superstar dance act Faithless in enormodomes in the Netherlands and Belgium.
With the first international successes release-wise, fed by album licences, television and movie syncs in the USA and growing club- and radio support in more and more countries, the band land their first big European festival, Sziget in Hungary. A short breath later K&S find themselves in Australia for a full tour and introduce themselves to the American audience through playing shows on renowned festivals as SXSW, Coachella, Miami’s WMC and New York’s CMJ.
The second album ‘Plastic People’ drops in 2008, and off that album, the hit single ‘Squeeze Me’, makes for an even more rapid rise of Kraak & Smaak internationally: the acclaimed UK dance magazine IDJ labels K&S as a “Must see live act”, together with big guns as the Chemical Brothers, Moby and The Prodigy. The band subsequently performs at the ‘holy grail of festivals’ Glastonbury in the UK, Lowlands in the Netherlands and again Europe’s biggest festival, Sziget. During a five-week live tour across the USA they perform at Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show on ABC television and further explicit support comes from US Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who describes K&S as ‘Amy Winehouse meets Moby’). Even Kanye West declares himself a fan! And to top things off, the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA) is won, together with none other than Adele.
The next years, the upward trend of K&S is continued and solidified with the albums ‘Electric Hustle’ (2011) and ‘Chrome Waves’ (2013). Again live tours are mapped and carried out in the USA, as are a second visit to UK’s Glastonbury festival and shows at Detroit Movement, Sziget and Exit. First steps are taken too in Latin-America and Asia.
At this point in time, the Kraak & Smaak has grown into a renowned international crossover live act that will tear apart many a club or festival, whether a dance, jazz , rock or pop one. So no faceless laptop act that seems so abundant nowadays in the dance scene, but an accessible yet uncompromising, full-fledged live band with drums, bass guitar, keys, dj and a male and female vocalist, matched up with their distinctive clubsound and their rock band stage attitude.