Kraak & Smaak have released their disco-tinged tracks on labels ranging from Diynamic to Razor-N-Tape, but they are also film buffs with a love of movies from the 70’s.
Since their establishment in 2005, legendary Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak have firmly made their mark as one of Europe’s premier purveyors of eclectic, funk-fuelled dancefloor positivity. Their impressive career has seen the trio consistently create refreshing records and perform their unique live electronic act – transgressing their distinctively warm and uplifting sound across the globe.
The trend of Kraak & Smaak has soared over the years with a string of acclaimed album releases from Electric Hustle (2011), Chrome Waves (2013), Juicy Fruit (2017) and their most recent output ‘Pleasure Centre’ (2019) hosted by their own imprint Boogie Angst. A label that has captured their inimitable fusion of funk-jam and pop sensibilities, Boogie Angst has provided a platform for Kraak & Smaak to offer up ‘Pleasure Centre’, a collaborative record packed with fresh and breezy West Coast feeling.
Now we catch up with the guys as they give us their favourite 1970’s movie recommendations…
Le Samourai (1967, Jean-Pierre Melville)
My favourite French gangster movie because of its extremely cool and ‘slow’ approach both in the visual style and especially the role of Alain Delon as laconic. You could even argue him as ‘existential’ hitman, who seems to be destined to have a tragic end from the beginning. You may have seen implicit and explicit influences of Melville and this particular film in the work of John Woo, Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino. There is great music by French movie composer Francois de Roubaix as well, often snowed under a bit in comparison to other composers of the time.
Le Clan des Siciliens (1969, Henri Verneuil)
A French and Italian, more straightforward approach to European gangster movies (but yet with the same tragic outcome as the above), evolving around a jewel heist by a group of criminals. Again, with Alain Delon but this time also with top acting Frenchies Lino Ventura and Jean Gabin too. It is the first non-Italian soundtrack for Ennio Morricone and I always loved this, from beginning to end. I actually first heard a sample of this soundtrack on a release by the triphop artist ‘Red’, on the now defunct Bristol-based UK label Cup of Tea Records back in the 90s! I was intrigued about the mouth harp, the strings and the melancholic melody, so I just had to find out where that came from. Took me a while though – there was no ‘who sampled who’ back then 😉
Brutti, sporchi e cattivi (1976, Etore Scola)
It’s one of my favourite Italian movies from the seventies. It’s so raw and uncut, they don’t make ’em like that anymore!
It’s about a big family living in a shanty town just outside Rome, on a dumping ground to be precise.
I’ve seen this film a couple of times (first time when I was 10), and it still amazes me how real everything looks.
You ask yourself the question: is it a documentary or a movie?
Great actors, lots of improvisation and a director that had the guts to let everything happen.
Il Casanova (1976, Frederico Fellini))
I must admit, there are better Fellini films than this one, but it wasn’t the movie itself, (in which Donald Sutherland marvellously played the role of Giacomo Casanova by the way) but the music that grabbed me by the balls.
None other than Nino Rota, who was responsible for the soundtracks of so many Fellini movies such as La Dolce Vita, Amarcord, La Strada and Il Vitelloni, was asked to make the music for this movie.
I never heard anything like this before. I know the music of Nino Rota, but this is something else I can tell you. Check the track O Venezia, Venaga, Venusia for instance. However, I have to be honest about how I found the music and thus the movie: It appeared on a ‘Late Night Tales’ compilation by Air, so big up to them for this!
Turks Fruit (1973, Paul Verhoeven)
Arguably one of the best Dutch movies ever made, filmed by legendary director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Robocop). It’s a hard job finding someone in Holland that doesn’t know this iconic picture. I can’t think of a movie that catches the general feeling of late 60’s/early 70’s in Amsterdam better than this one.
As in the other examples, I don’t think this movie would be that great without the music of Rogier van Otterloo. He was the man. Died too early unfortunately.