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New York Cool - Music

Kraak Smaak
Mercury Lounge
November 8, 2008
Written and Photographed By Misha Jenkins

Opposite Photo: Mark Kneppers

The mood was light and full of electricity as Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug's Kraak & Smaak stepped their colorful K-Swiss's onto the stage. They took a few last looks at the wires that sneaked and snaked their way around a live drum kit, behind an actual guitar, and over some electrical equipment before finding their places under turntables, keyboard synths or beneath a glowing white apple logo. It seemed something was amiss as the lights went out. However, when the slow rhythmic R&B samples started to move the room-deep crowd and the pulse of lights focused, a mounting mix of energy and aura gave way to a coherent delight for the blood in the ears.

Rose Singing With Kraak Smaak

Rose and her sultry, cathedral vocals entered stage left. The crowd whipped and warmed into a hoppin' jumpin' head- twisting good time. Her enthusiasm and passion was its own light shinning from the stage.

Andre of Kraak Smaak


The flawless integration of Andre's drums and Marc's bass into an ether-construction of samples and synthetic sounds brought realism and physical vibration to the hip-hop beats. They held tight and morphed into mixes of soulful music all on their own. The deep funk and dominant vocals were most influential when all the artists were on stage together, letting it flow through throats, microphones, drum heads, synth guitars, laptops, bass strings or vinyl. To watch Andre’s longhaired locks fly about as he attacked his drums gave me something to cheer for as the night danced away. The slick moves and happy finger's of Marc also inspired a sense of reality as knees bounced to rolling beats. Seb took the stage in all black and a bowler hat and bounced around as if the very stage was a trampoline, all the while laying down deep and even meaningful lyrics. One let go of New York City once through the front door, and the ceilings at Mercury Lounge did not feel low as the crowd raised up the night.

Kraak Smaak

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