This last week, I had the opportunity to attend a show for the Dutch group known by the name of Kraak & Smaak. This show, which felt like one big dance party, was something far different from anything I have ever attended before. The group’s presence on stage was only matched by their outstanding performance, which not only had me, but the rest of the crowd grooving the whole time.IMG_0296

Kraak & Smaak‘s genre, which could be summarized as electro funk, has a special quality to it that makes it nearly impossible to not be moving your body. Seeing a group like this perform in a small intimate location such as The Roxy, which is famous for having acts such as Pearl Jam and Guns N’ Roses perform there, gives the crowd a feeling of knowing the group personally. Being in a small area with a stage so close to the crowd gives the group members the opportunity to really interact with the audience, and results in an overall very fun and energetic show.

To say that the audience enjoyed the show was an understatement. Never in my life have I seen so many people busting out dance moves from times I wasn’t alive for, or moves that I don’t even think have names yet. Both singers that were brought on stage were absolutely phenomenal, and their and energy and zeal was increased from the awesome tunes that were being made by the group’s original three members: Wim Plug on turntables, Oscar de Jong on keyboards, and Mark Kneppers on drums. Put all those elements together with a kick ass bassist, and you have a wonderfully retro group that can get a party started. After the show, I was lucky enough to have a chat with both Wim and Oscar from Kraak & Smaak and this is what they had to say:

What musicians inspire you?

Oscar: Alot of musicians. From James Brown to Miles Davis and all the clichés

Wim: Johnny Cash is a big one.

Oscar: Yeah from electronic to disco to house. Honestly whatever.

When did you both decide to become musicians?

Wim: Well I’m not really a musician( Laughs )

Wim ( cont ):  Well Oscar is really the musician. Were three people as an act who make music in the studio. Oscar is really the musican of the three of us and the other two including me are really into the DJ Side of things.

How did you get into Djing?

 Wim :  Well about 10-15 years ago I started to Djing. And I bought a lot of records. I really just started sampling everything. This really developed the type of sound I liked in my music or what good music is supposed to sound like.

Oscar:  We really loved  70’s and 80’s records and I think when we were playing these songs with a band, they weren’t sounding quite like the records. So we decided to sample stuff  from our record collection

How big is your record collection?

 Oscar: About 40,000- 50,000 records.

So what is your song writing process?

Oscar: Well we always begin with the samples. That usually establishes the sound we like. And then on top of the sample we put down the other instruments. We use a lot of retro synth sounds also to get ideas.

What was your favorite gig?

Wim: Glastonbury Festival was my favorite.

Oscar: I thought the Detroit Music Festival was really cool.

If you could be an animal for a day, what would you be and why?

Both: (laughs)

Wim: Maybe I would be a penguin because I would walk funny. Hahaha I honestly don’t know

Oscar: Hahaha what the f%@k??! Uhhh I don’t know man. The penguin? Hahaha.

If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be? 

 Oscar: Eclectic

Wim: knettrfunk.

What is “knetterfunk?”

 Oscar: It’s the music we make!

Wim: Haha it means Dutch Funk.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Oscar: We definitely want to play bigger stages. We want to play Coachella.

Wim: Yeah Coachella would be nice.- I think we want to keep doing what were doing. Were honestly just trying to persue our dreams ya know. Were loving what music were making and what not.

Oscar: We have definitely have a long road ahead of us.

Kraak and Smaak social: F | T | S

Photos by Theo Buckwald