Kraak & Smaak
The Remix Sessions
My recent review of Birgit included I can’t remember the last time I’ve been impressed with any sort of music of Dutch origins. Kraak & Smaak — a three-piece DJ team famous in their home country for fashioning Love Parade-esque rave grooves — turns their rubbery rhythm and perma-beats on a variety of European dance hits, but offers little in the way of interest for those of us not hip to the continent’s club circuit. For most American listeners the lite-funk strains of Jamiroquai are likely to be the most familiar touchstone on K&S’s operating table. Their track sounds very much like how we left them back in the ’90s with “Virtual Insanity”; it’s good for a quick, easy jaunt on the floor but there’s not much substance behind the artifice. It’s hard to tell exactly what this new version of Jamiroquai’s “Electric Mistress” has to offer, having never heard the original, but the beat K&S have used to dictate the song’s groove leads a charge through the remaining eight tracks on disc one. For a drug-addled, sleep-deprived kid, dancing to the same old beat for an hour straight might sound like a stellar way to spend the wee hours of a Friday night, but divorced of its intended context, the dearth of creativity hits pretty hard. It’s hard to even recommend these discs to those looking for an easy way to soundtrack a Euro-trash party; you’d be better off creating your own iPod DJ hit list instead.