The Secret Chamber Of Dreams; Wim Plug (kraak & Smaak)

The Secret Chamber Of Dreams is a new series on housecult.com wherein photographer Michel Mees captures artists in the environment they spend most of their time between the heavy and demanding weekends. A place where they create new tracks, stock their huge piles of vinyl, relax and prepare for upcoming gigs. Michel tries to capture these intimate surroundings and find out more about these rooms. In the second edition of The Secret Chamber Of Dreams Michel visited Wim Plug from Kraak & Smaak.

Kraak & Smaak are a musical production trio from the town of Leiden, Netherlands, consisting of Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug. In 2003,UK label Jalapeno Records released the project’s initial 12″s. Interest from Annie Nightingale and Pete Tong led to airplay and the recording of a DJ guest mix for BBC Radio 1. Several remixes for UK artists such as Mark Rae and DJ tours across the US and Australia followed.

Their debut album Boogie Angst, was released in the UK in 2006. Throughout 2006 and 2007, their shows took them to festivals such as the Pinkpop, Sziget, SXSW, Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Bonnaroo, Coachella, the Australian Good Vibrations Festival, and on a first small club tour in the US, during which they opened for Faithless a number of times.

In 2008, their second artist album was released, Plastic People, whose title track was written by featured UK artist Bobby Nio and Mark Brydon of electro band Moloko. In January 2009, the project won the EU sponsored European Border Breakers Award (EBBA), alongside acts such as The Ting Tings and Adele.

After a long period of touring and collabs (Sander Kleinenberg) and even more remixes (Maxwell, Max Sedgley, Fedde le Grand, Darwin Deez), K&S’s third album, ‘Electric Hustle,’ was released in April 2011, featuring Romanthony, Lee Fields, Janne Schra, John Turrell and Lex Empress a.o. on vocal duties. A new series of dancefloor EPs was released under the name of ‘Kraak Beats’ and Moby’s new single ‘The Day’ was remixed.

In 2013, Kraak & Smaak released their third album, Chrome Waves

Where are we currently located?

In the Plug residence, in the corner of the first floor.

What kind of stuff can we find over here?

My DJ set, which I use to check out new music, instead of DJ’ing most of the time. You can also find stuff like some vintage headphones (Pioneer and Bang & Olufsen), some old elements from my train tracks, an old misshapen salt and pepper set I brought back from The States, old framed press pics from the Delfonics and Melvin from Peebles and pictures from several American venues where we performed with Kraak & Smaak. The large ‘Maria’ painting originates from a Belgian church. Most of my vinyl is stocked around the corner between the washer and the dryer.

How often do you spend time here?

Almost every day in the morning and in most cases at night as well. When I’m not in the studio I spend the whole day over here.

What do you exactly do in this room?

I record radio-mixes and DJ-sets, I take care of all sorts of tasks regarding Kraak & Smaak, I listen to new tunes, or just quality tracks. In some cases I just watch some TV over here when the other TV is taken over by the ladies in the house.

Do you have a remarkable anecdote you are willing to share about this room?

John Turrell, the singer of the British soul and funkband Smoove & Turrell once stayed at my place. We planned to spend some time in the studio and John would join the band for a few tracks. Anyway, my place is pretty old and has some worn-down oak steps, and when John returned, pretty drunk, around 8 in the morning after a show, he slipped and landed with his head in a glass bell. The result was a heavy bleeding John who had to be picked up by an ambulance urgently. To even add more drama to the event, they were recording a movie-scene next door, which only increased the consternation. Later on we decided to replace the old steps…

 

Michel Mees

Michel Mees is a photographer specialising in music and portrait photography. He shoots editorial, advertising and corporate assignments. Michel is a self-confessed music fanatic who, over the course of a career spanning almost twenty years, has amassed an incredible portfolio in which he captures the essence of countless illustrious and iconic names. Michel Mees (1969) is undoubtedly one of Holland’s more prolific music and portrait photographers.