On February 3rd Monarch presents…
+ Kraak & Smaak +
+ Justin Waves
Since the Dutch trio of producers Kraak & Smaak released their first album 'Boogie Angst' worldwide in 2005, the boys' act has steadily grown into a well-respected force in today's international club and festival scene.
The first time the live band was put together and played was a one-off to promote the producers’ album. But after that show premiered in Amsterdam, with its energetic mix of funk, disco and house, plus a heavy dose of rock 'n roll attitude, the reaction convinced the band to embark on a follow up tour.
Their set-up, combining the club sound of their releases with live musicians and vocalists, turned out to be a musical phenomenon on the Dutch circuit, leading to invitations to play at Europe’s festivals and renowned USA hotspots like SXSW, Coachella, Miami's WMC and New York's CMJ.
The second album 'Plastic People' dropped in 2008, and off that album, the hit single 'Squeeze Me', made for an even more rapid international rise of K&S. The acclaimed UK dance magazine IDJ labelled K&S as a “Must see live act”, together with big guns as the Chemical Brothers, Moby and The Prodigy. The band subsequently performed 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 performed at Jimmy Kimmel's late night show on ABC television and further explicit support came from US Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who describes K&S as ‘Amy Winehouse meets Moby’. Even Kanye West declared himself a fan! And to top things off, the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA) is won, together with none other than Adele.
In the following years, the upward trend of K&S is continued and solidified with the albums 'Electric Hustle' (2011) and 'Chrome Waves' (2013). A grueling schedule of international touring includes career highlight shows at Detroit Movement, Sziget, Glastonbury and Exit, and key single releases in this period include “Let’s Go Back” which features a superb vocal from the sadly departed Romanthony, The Future Is Yours” (which saw the band hook up a second time with Ben Westbeech who at the time was hitting the top of the charts under his Breach guise), and the soulful “How We Gonna Stop The Time” — an instant club hit that went on to be licensed for release on Axtone Records. New remix work comes through for Moby, Aretha Franklin, Chromatics, and Royksopp.
The current (5th) album Juicy Fruit, released last Summer, has seen the boys returning to the more organic sound of their debut record. As usual it contains some heavyweight collaborations, including Americans Mayer Hawthorne and Eric Biddiness, and Australians Parcels and Cleopold to name just a few. In the US, initial support comes from KCRW (Top Tune #1 for ‘Hands of Time’) and a #2 position in the USA’s College radio CMJ / RPM charts for I’Don’t Know Why’.
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