Mark Kneppers, Oscar de Jong & Win Plug
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Biografie Kraak & Smaak
For many people Kraak and Smaak is an addiction thats hard to shake and when youre talking about the funk phenomenon from the Netherlands that has been winning over audiences across the continent with their energy charged live shows the same is definitely true.
Kraak and Smaak is the ever so slightly illegal sounding band of Dutchmen Mark Kneppers, Oscar De Jong and Wim Plug. The name comes from a proverb in Dutch and caused some consternation for the young Dutchmen when they realised what they had got themselves into. "In Dutch the name doesnt have a drug context and when people see it written down its different but a lot of the time people think we are called crack and smack which we dont have a problem with but maybe gives them the wrong idea about us" says keyboard wiz Oscar De Jong.
Kraak and Smaak formed in 2003 through a series of friendships and chance meetings. Mark and Wim already knew each other from DJing together and were introduced to Oscar by a mutual friend who told them about the keyboard prodigy that was studying at the conservatoire. The trio started working together and sent one of their earliest efforts into the outside world to see if anyone was interested. That track Money in the Bag was picked up by Jalapeno Records who offered the band an album deal. It also landed the KandS crew with a mix on Radio 1 courtesy of early supporter Annie Nightingale. They repaid the courtesy with another DJ mix for Annie in 05 which was voted mix of the year and re-run in Radio 1s best of the year round up.
Not that Annie was the only supporter in the UK - nearly every specialist on UK National Radio 1 from Pete Tong to Zane Lowe and Annie Mac to the Blue Room have all featured Kraak and Smaak tracks in their shows. IDJ magazine made Boogie Angst (the kraakers debut album) their album of the month and devoted a spread to the super strength Dutch funk crew declaring Boogie Angst "One of the years best albums".
Respected scene magazine Blues and Soul described them as "The funkiest thing to come out of Holland. Ever" whilst the BBC Online described it as "Like a lost master from the Stax vaults. Its that good". High praise indeed.
The band have released several singles off the album and have had the cream of upcoming and established talent standing in line to do a remix, often with a remix from the boys in return as more than enough payment. Sharam Jey , 4 Hero, Soul of Man, Mark Rae and the Fort Knox Five are just some of the names involved and these and other remixes will all feature as a bonus disc on the new version of the album due for release in September in the UK. This new version of the album is already available in Europe where PIAS have picked up rights for the band.