It’s good to have something to dance to on a Friday, and Kraak & Smaak’s latest album Electric Hustle is certainly a good album to dance to and so much more!
Fans of the Kraak & Smaak include Radio 1′s Annie Nightingale, Perez Hilton (might want to keep that one quiet) and even Kanye West. But anyone can have a huge celebrity fanbase (Ed. Really?) and what we like about these guys along with their label mates Dr Rubberfunk (who released his last album Hot Stone this time last year) and Max Sedgely) is that they do their own thing; and they continue to do it to the highest level on thier soon to be released third album, Electric Hustle.
It’s been a while since the Squeeze Me single featuring Ben Westbeech but it’s been worth the wait as they are SO nu-disco, italo-disco, electro-funk, old disco, soul, funk, house, breaks?
Perhaps with this in mind, ‘Lets Go Back’ squeezes a lot of the above into one track and you’d be a sad so and so not to dance your booty to this one – as they say “the future is the past”. There must be an extended disco 45 mix in that one to be had. It’s the second of two tracks that features house veteran Romanthony, along with ‘Built For Love’, so you know they’ll be monsters.
You’ll remember their ‘Dynamite’ single that blew us away earlier this year and it’s still bigger than a no-fly zone in George Clinton’s house.
The next single is going to be ‘Call Up To Heaven’ it in the Ronson/Winehouse production style and there’s remixes promised by Gramophonedzie, the always impressive Parov Stelar and Smoove of Smoove & Turrell. The vocal by Lex Empress is very much in the soul diva fashion of the moment but don’t be surprised if jazz-funkier ‘Hold Back The Love’ is as equally big on playlists.
And if you’re into the retro soul-jazz of Raphael Sadeeq at the moment, check the monstrous contribution John Turrell on ‘Wasted With A Smile’, he’s a real tower of power and I wish I’d seen more of him at last year’s Big Chill on Super Sunday (see review HERE and on the MAV!S set).
And talking of modern soul legends, the Truth & Soul label had a big hit with Lee Fields’ My World album a couple of years ago and he turns up on this album on a track called ‘Forge About You’. Yes that’s Lee Fields I say! You know he wouldn’t appear on anything less than soulful and you know these guys know their shit when the strings and the funky guitar lick come in at the end; another prime remix candidate.
Moving on a decade or two, groovin’ with a touch of go-go we get Lex Empress back on ‘Fairy Falling’. In fact there’s so many influences of a good nature circa 80s soul funk that it’s a real grower. And she, known as Alexandra Keijssers to the tax man, finishes off with the uptempo ‘The Storm’; Dutch blues-house?
‘Never Too Late’ features the new (to us anyway) vocals of Janne Schra and starts pretty synth pop before morphing into Giorgio Moroder-esque disco, which is no bad thing of course and it’s done with such respect, it’s no gouda fisted Dutch-ness on the Heineken. And on the same subject, ‘My Synths Are The Bomb’ gets all Moroder meets Jan Hammer – a very good sound.
The album ends on yet another high note with our man Mr. Turrell with the ‘Turrrell’s Lament’ and it’s them at their most reflective.
2011 will see Wim Plug, Mark Kneppers and Oscar de Jong (aka Kraak & Smaak) on tour as a live band and as a DJ crew (their book for the Chill Out Festival in Istanbul this weekend so don’t go to chill out) so don’t miss when they reach your town/festival as these Dutch masters (sorry about that Rembrandt) are made to make you’re ass move.
Reviewed: Kraak & Smaak – Electric Hustle (Jalapeno Records) Cat. No.. JAL113 Release date: 6th June 2011
1 Built For Love (6:07)
2 Let’s Go Back (5:28)
3 Dynamite (4:07)
4 Hold Back Love (4:41)
5 Call Up To Heaven (4:46)
6 Wasted With A Smile (5:13)
7 Never Too Late (4:32)
8 Fairy Falling (4:46)
9 Forget About You (4:37)
10 My Synths Are The Bomb (5:30)
11 The Storm (5:57)
12 Turrell’s Lament (5:27)
4th June 2010 – Simon S, Martin Gordon & Gerry Hectic: Jazz Chronicles @ Sixty Million Postcards, Bournemouth 3 to 8pm www.sixtymillionpostcards.com