Kraak & Smaak

The Remix Sessions

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Kraak en Smaak sounds like a duo, but they're actually a trio consisting of Dutch producers and remix artists Mark Kneppers, Oscar De Jong and Wim Plug -- a group that has released only one full album on its own yet has done enough remix work in the meantime to fully justify this two-disc collection, which consists largely of vinyl-only rarities. The 19 tracks offer a nice cross-section of names both famous (Jamiroquai, Fort Knox Five) and relatively obscure (Zeroleen, Resin Dogs), and the flavor that Kraak en Smaak bring to these tracks is remarkably consistent: funky but rather restrained, perfect for a long drive on a warm summer evening. They steer clear of both wild dubwise extravagance and bludgeoning Big Beat bombast, instead turning every track into a pleasant (but sonically interesting) confection that invites dancing rather than insisting on it. Highlight tracks include the calypso-flavored "Love Is My Religion" by Karl Moestl, IKON's party-ready "Do You Dream," and a creepily fun version of the beloved bluegrass song "Man of Constant Sorrow" by Skeewiff. Less successful are the rather tedious "Everything Is Plastic," a Kraak en Smaak original, and Jamiroquai's house-derived "Electric Mistress." Highly recommended overall.

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